In Dartmouth, there is no statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims. That means, even if the abuse took place many years in the past, survivors of sexual abuse are entitled to pursue legal action against their abusers.
If you were the victim of sexual abuse, either recently or in the past, our Dartmouth sexual abuse lawyers may be able to help in your pursuit of justice. Additionally, in certain scenarios, you may also be able to file a claim against your abuser’s employer at the time of your attack, or against another institution that was responsible for introducing you to your abuser.
Surviving sexual abuse can have pervasive emotional and psychological effects. It is not uncommon for sexual abuse survivors to develop severe mental health conditions as a result of the trauma they endured, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People who were victimized as children or teenagers may face challenges well into their adulthoods, and may require ongoing psychiatric treatment in order to cope with the abuse to which they were subjected.
Sexual abuse or, in the civil context, sexual battery refers to any sexual activity that occurs without consent. Consent is a clearly understood, ongoing, active, and revocable agreement between two adults.
Children are not capable of giving informed consent for any sexual activity. In this country, the legal age of consent is 16 years old. However, a teenager who has reached the age of consent but is still not legally considered an adult cannot give informed consent to an adult in their lives who holds a position of dependency, authority, or trust. Adults who use the power imbalance that exists between themselves and teenagers in their care to engage in sexual activity have perpetrated sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation is one of several reprehensible actions considered non-consensual sexual abuse.
Most survivors of sexual abuse have a pre-existing relationship with their abuser. Sometimes, authority figures use their position of power within an organization to exploit and abuse vulnerable people in their care, or young people over whom they have influence. These abusers can be teachers, sports coaches, religious figures, doctors, and other people in positions of authority and trust.
In some situations, the organization that employs a sexual abuser may ignore their employee’s history of sexual misconduct. Similarly, an organization’s leadership may come to learn about power imbalances in their institutions that end in sexual abuse, but neglect to report these incidents to the police. Under these circumstances, organizations may be considered liable for damages suffered by victims as a result of systemic, institutional sexual abuse.
Institutional sexual abuse exists within the context of a larger organization, often impacting vulnerable or disempowered individuals, such as children, people with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities, and inmates. In Dartmouth, institutional sexual abuse may be perpetuated by educational institutions, religious organizations, psychiatric hospitals, correctional facilities, sports leagues or extra-curricular programs, and more.
In fact, even government organizations may be responsible for fostering a culture of systemic sexual abuse. Decades after their closure, indigenous survivors of the province’s government-sanctioned residential schools continue to experience trauma resulting from institutional sexual abuse.
Free Consultation for Dartmouth Residents – We Don’t Get Paid Unless We Win
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual abuse, our Dartmouth sexual abuse lawyers may be able to discuss your case in a free, initial consultation. During this cost-free, no-obligation, initial meeting, our sexual abuse lawyers serving Dartmouth can sensitively discuss your situation and explain options that may be available to you.
To book a free, initial consultation and learn more about how our sexual abuse lawyers with experience in Dartmouth may be able to help, contact Preszler Injury Lawyers today.