It is one of the most devastating things a parent can ever hear — their child has been sexually assaulted. Most often when this occurs, the assault is done by someone the child trusts, such as a teacher or daycare worker and in some cases, even another family member.
Many parents think their only option is to file a criminal complaint, which will possibly sentence the accused to jail time. But there are other options available, and a qualified Toronto sexual abuse lawyer will be able to explain them fully.
For more information or to begin filing your civil claim, schedule a consultation with one of our experienced injury lawyers today.
Civil Sexual Abuse Claims in Canada
Many victims do not realize that in addition to criminal charges that can be levied against the perpetrator, there may be other civil remedies available to the victim.
People who are victimized are often concerned that there is no other recourse against the perpetrator because they do not have any assets or money. However, in many circumstances, employers of the perpetrator may be found liable for their reprehensible conduct.
Sexual abuse is best identified within a spectrum of wrongful behavior. Sexual abuse could consist simply of inappropriate touching that is non-consensual, or it could reach all the way to the most significant violations of a person’s sexual autonomy and dignity with respect to their right to be free of unwanted or forcible sexual contact.
Warning Signs of Abuse
The most significant warning signs to look out for are the psychological manifestations of trauma that tend to follow such a significant and violating breach of one’s sexual autonomy and personal dignity.
A person’s self-worth, a person’s sense of dignity and a person’s confidence in their ability to live their life free from this harm are all values which are compromised and violated by this intrusion upon the core of personhood. Withdrawn, anti-social or otherwise aberrant behaviors may be indicative of the nature of this trauma, and may reflect how a victim of sexual abuse has suffered an experience that has severed a former sense of self.
Testifying at a Sexual Assault Trial
The last thing any parent wants to put their child through during a sexual assault case is testifying at trial. It can be traumatic, as children will be required to relive the incident as they provide testimony and tell their side of the story to the judge. This, however, is a necessary step as it provides the details of the case.
The child, the accused and possibly the parents of the child will have to testify in court. However, others may be called in to testify as well, such as medical experts, who can attest to the emotional and physical state of the victim following the incident, or other witnesses who can substantiate the evidence of the accused or the defendant.
Compensation in Toronto Sexual Abuse Cases
In sexual assault cases, victims may claim financial compensation or damages for:
- Pain and suffering. This type of compensation is meant to repay the victim for any pain and suffering they endured because of the sexual assault. While no amount of money can make up for what happened, it can help the victim begin to move on with their life. In Canada, pain and suffering damages are capped at $300,000.
- Loss of earning capacity. This type of compensation comes largely into play during child sexual assault cases. Children can become so traumatized by the assault that they drop out of school, or turn to drug and alcohol abuse. These are just two instances that would greatly affect the earning capacity of a child in their adult lives, and it can be compensated for.
- Punitive damages. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate the victim, but rather to punish the assailant. These are rare in Canadian law cases, but not unheard of.
Contact a Toronto Sexual Abuse Lawyer Today
If your child has been a victim of sexual assault, it is essential that you speak to a Toronto sexual abuse lawyer as soon as possible. It is a difficult process for everyone involved, and our lawyers can not only help be there for the family, but also help them recoup their losses. Contact Preszler Law Firm today for a free consultation.