Once an individual decides to come forward with a claim of a crime of sexual abuse and they have charges pressed, they may do so in criminal and/or civil court. Even in civil court, these cases can become quite complicated and extremely difficult for the victim.
Because of this, it is important they seek the services of a London, Ontario sexual abuse lawyer that has experience with these types of cases. A compassionate personal injury lawyer can help their client to help with their case.
Our sexual abuse lawyers can meet with you in London for a free initial consultation. Call (416) 364-2000
Sexual Abuse Defined
In civil courts, sexual abuse consists of two common types of cases: battery and assault. Battery includes cases wherein force has been used to sexually violate another person. Battery can include anything from inappropriate touching to rape.
Sexual assault, however, does not require any force and in fact, a person does not need to even touch another person in order for an assault to occur. Threats, gestures, and other words or acts that do not involve touching, but still instill fear in the victim, can all be considered sexual assault.
Battery and assault are not the only types of cases involving sexual assault that could be brought to civil court. A victim may also decide to sue on the grounds of breach of fiduciary duty, when an adult has breached the trust of a minor, or negligence, such as in cases when an institution did not properly oversee a staff member that assaulted someone in their care.
When sexual abuse is involved, there may be several defendants and they may involve different types of cases. A sexual abuse lawyer in London can advise victims on who could be taken to court in order to seek compensation.
London Sexual Abuse Lawyer Near Me (416) 364-2000
Criminal Court vs. Civil Court
Most cases of sexual abuse people hear about are criminal cases. In these instances, a Crown Lawyer of Ontario prosecutes the defendant and if convicted, their punishment will include fines and jail time. Civil cases, on the other hand, include the defendant, the plaintiff (the one bringing the case to court) and London sexual abuse lawyers that have been hired by both sides.
Many victims understand these differences, but are unsure which to do first, either press criminal charges or take the case to civil court. In most cases, it is better to let the case be heard in criminal court before taking it to civil court. This is because a conviction in criminal court can help strengthen the case in civil court.
Also, when a civil proceeding is begun before a criminal trial, this can hurt the victim’s chances of getting the results they want in civil court. Lawyers for the defendant may point to the civil case as evidence that the victim is only trying to get financial compensation and say the abuse never occurred.
Statute of Limitations
In recent years, Ontario has recently overturned the old statute of limitations on sexual abuse cases with the passing of Bill 132. This bill, which was passed in 2016, states that there are no longer limitation periods on sexual abuse cases. This is good news for those who have ever been sexually abused, as it can sometimes take 10, 20, or even 40 years or more before victims feel as though they can come forward with their case.
As long as the case has never been tried before in court or settled outside of court, victims can now file sexual abuse lawsuits in London, Ontario any time they are ready to come forward with their story.
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Talk to a London, Ontario Sexual Abuse Lawyer Today
Sexual abuse can be traumatic. It is definitely not something victims should go through alone, and these cases require the help of someone who is experienced and qualified to take them to civil court.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse, contact a London sexual abuse lawyer that can help you with your case right away.