Sexual abuse may be defined, in part, by an imbalance of power. If an adult takes advantage of the power or influence they have over a vulnerable person or child in order to engage in non-consensual sexual activity, they have committed sexual abuse.
In the context of sexual experiences, consent refers to a clearly understood, ongoing agreement between adults that can be revoked at any time. Children cannot give informed consent for sexual activity. Additionally, even teenagers who have reached the age of consent but are not yet legally adults cannot provide informed consent to an adult upon whom they are dependent, or an adult who holds a position of authority or trust. However, in Fredericton, adults may use the influence they have over a young person, vulnerable person, or child to coerce them into engaging in sexual activity. This form of abuse is referred to as sexual exploitation.
The majority of sexual abuse victims report having a pre-existing or personal relationship with their adult abuser. Oftentimes, sexual exploitation occurs within the structure of a larger entity or organization. When adult employees or volunteers abuse the imbalance of power between them and the young or vulnerable people in their care, victims of their exploitation may face lifelong repercussions. Examples of authority figures who may use their positions within an organization to sexually exploit or abuse others include:
- Religious figures
- Sports coaches
- Guards at correctional facilities
- Staff at psychiatric institutions
- Foster parents
- And more
If you were the victim of sexual exploitation or abuse, our sexual abuse lawyers serving Fredericton may be able to help you recover damages you sustained as a result of your abuse. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be eligible to pursue a civil claim for damages against both your abuser and their employer, or the entity that introduced you to the person who perpetrated this heinous crime.
Organizations have an obligation to report sexual abuse to the authorities, and to remove employees who perpetrate these crimes from their positions. If an organization learns that one or more of its employees or volunteers has sexually abused or exploited a young or vulnerable person in their care but fails to take appropriate measures to prevent this crime from being committed again, they may indirectly create ideal circumstances for abusers to continue preying on the very people they have been hired to protect. Entities or institutions that turn a blind eye to sexual exploitation within their organization may be found guilty of perpetuating systemic, institutional sexual abuse. In these situations, organizations that encourage this culture of abuse by failing to adequately address it may be considered liable for damages incurred by those who have survived abuse within their institution.
Fredericton survivors of sexual abuse often develop self-destructive coping mechanisms to try overcoming the trauma from their past. Sexual abuse survivors may sustain prolonged psychological distress, mental health issues, and financial losses as the result of their past abuse. These financial losses may include psychiatric treatment, counselling, prescription medications, lost wages, reduced future earning capabilities, and more.
Our sexual abuse lawyers serving Fredericton are committed to bringing abusers in the community to justice. To learn how Preszler Injury Lawyers may be able to help, book a free, initial consultation with our Fredericton sexual abuse lawyers.
Free Consultation for Fredericton Residents – We Don’t Get Paid Unless We Win
There is no statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims in this province. That means no matter how long ago your abuse took place, our Fredericton sexual abuse lawyers may be able to help you recover financial compensation for damages you incurred as a result of your experience.
At Preszler Injury Lawyers, we appreciate how difficult it can be to discuss traumatic experiences. When you feel able to discuss your situation in a free initial consultation, call our sexual abuse lawyers serving Fredericton. Our compassionate, sensitive lawyers are available to listen to your story and advise you of options that may be available to you.
To learn more, call our Fredericton sexual abuse lawyers today for a cost-free, no-obligation first meeting.