Sexual assault is an umbrella term that refers to any form of unwanted sexual contact, including threats, stalking, rape, or other forms of harrassment. The definition encompasses a number of unacceptable, unwanted behaviours, ranging from verbal abuse to some of the most heinous acts of sexually-based violence. Affecting one in three women and one in eight men in Canada, sexual assault can cause lasting damage to a person’s physical and emotional health, potentially affecting every aspect of their everyday life.
The only violent crime not in decline in Canada, sexual assault can affect anyone, of any gender, sexual orientation, or social circumstances. It can occur in public and in private, in person and online, within relationships, in families, and among strangers. Women and gender-diverse people are disproportionately targeted by sexual assault.
Forms of sexual violence include:
- Unwanted sexual attention (e.g., jokes, comments)
- Unwanted advances
- Sexual harrassment
- Indecent exposure
- Sexual exploitation
- Sexual assault of minors
- Threats and intimidation
- Using a position of power to gain sexual favours
- Groping/inappropriate touching
- And more
It is important to hold perpetrators accountable. Many kinds of unwanted sexual advances may fall under the thresshold of sexual assault. By working with an Ontario sexual assault lawyer, you might be able to pursue the justice you deserve.
Preszler Injury Lawyers appreciate the importance of transparency. Our sexual assault lawyers serving Ontario are sensitive to the unique needs of each individual case. If you were sexually assaulted at any time in your life, consider scheduling a free initial consultation with our Ontario sexual assault lawyers by contacting us today.
Sexual Assault Statistics in Canada
In 82% of sexual assaults, the survivor personally knows their assailant. Often, the perpetrators are friends, coworkers, romantic partners, spouses, or people in positions of authority. The majority of sexual assaults occur in private spaces, including the home.
Sexual assault is, unfortunately, extremely common. A third of all women and an eighth of all men in Canada have been the victims of sexual assault in their lifetimes. However, for many reasons, including the many social stigmas associated with this crime, only one in ten incidents of sexual assault are reported to police.
60% of sexual assault victims are minors under the age of 17. Over 80% of all victims of sex crimes are women.
The Lasting Impacts of Sexual Assault
Surviving sexual assault can have profound effects on a person’s life, in both the short and long term. Just as there are many kinds of sexual assault, there is a wide spectrum of adverse effects associated with surviving this crime. Every individual is unique, but it has been observed in numerous studies that the trauma of living through an assault can disrupt every facet of a person’s life. Victims of sexual assault commonly experience a range of emotions and responses, including:
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders
- Alcohol use disorder, substance abuse
- Physical and emotional detachment
- Minimization or denial of the experience
- Feelings of shame and betrayal
- Lack of self-worth
- Suicidal ideation or attempts
- And more
In cases of unwanted sexual attention, such as lewd comments in public, victims may withdraw from social circumstances they should have the right to enjoy. In the long term, even seemingly-trivial harrassment may contribute to a culture of harmful discriminatory behaviour.
Victims of sexual assault often sustain substnatial financial losses as a result of the trauma they have endured. These typically include medical expenses, psychotherapy, lost wages due to missed work, reduced future earning capacities, and more. By working with an Ontario sexual assault lawyer, survivors may be able to recover the compensation they are rightfully owed.
How An Ontario Sexual Assault Lawyer May Be Able to Help
Our Ontario sexual assault lawyers are passionate about helping survivors of these heinous crimes recover the accountability and compensation they deserve. By pursuing a civil claim for damages, depending on the circumstances of your case, our sexual assault lawyers serving Ontario may be able to help you recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Psychiatric treatment
- Prescription medications
- Lost wages
- Reduced future earning capabilities
- Failure to reach potential
- Loss of interdependent relationship
- Pain and suffering
- And more
In accordance with the provincial Limitations Act, there is no statute of limitations on sexual assault claims. That means, even if many years have passed, victims of sexual assault are still entitled to pursue legal action.
To learn more about how our sexual assault lawyers serving Ontario may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve, call 1-800-JUSTICE and schedule your cost-free, no-obligation consultation today.
Contact Our Ontario Sexual Assault Lawyers Today
Whether you were verbally harassed, physically assaulted, or sexually violated in another way, you may be entitled to compensation. By working with our sexual assault lawyers serving Ontario, survivors of sexual assault may be able to bring their abusers to justice, and recover compensation for damages they have incurred as a result of their criminal actions.
To learn more about options for legal actions that might be available to you, contact Preszler Injury Lawyers today.