The trauma of surviving sexual abuse often impacts a victim’s quality of life for years, and even decades. This is especially true for people who were abused in their youth or during their childhoods. 

Children are not capable of giving informed consent to engage in sexual activity. If an adult takes advantage of a young person’s dependence on them, exploits their trust, or abuses their position of authority over a young person to engage in non-consensual sexual activity, they may cause their victim a lifetime of psychological turmoil and emotional anguish. 

Adults in a position of authority, trust, or dependence cannot obtain informed consent from a minor, even if they have reached the age of consent. When teachers, religious figures, sports coaches, foster parents, juvenile detention centre guards, and other adults upon whom young people may rely use the imbalance of power in their relationship to engage in sexual activities with minors, they have committed a form of abuse referred to as sexual exploitation. 

Oftentimes, the conditions for sexual exploitation are created through an institutional system of negligence. Largely occurring within the context of a larger organization, such as schools, summer camps, sports teams, and religious institutions, sexual exploitation often involves authority figures preying upon the young or vulnerable people they have been employed to protect and guide. 

In these situations, organizations that employ sexual abusers have a duty to report offending employees to the authorities and remove them from their position of power. If an organization’s leadership is aware that abuse has taken place within their institution but fails to take actions to protect others from this extremely harmful behaviour in the future, they may be complicit in creating a culture of systemic, institutional sexual abuse. 

By turning a blind eye to sexual abuse within their organization, institutions effectively allow a cycle of abuse to continue perpetrating itself. They create ideal, consequence-free environments for abusers to continue exploiting young and vulnerable people in their care. In these situations, organizations who fail to take proper actions to prevent abuse from occurring in the future may be liable for damages arising from survivors’ traumatic, life-altering experiences.

Sexual abuse survivors often develop severe mental health conditions and destructive coping mechanisms as a result of their exploitation. The far-reaching effects of sexual abuse often include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Shame
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of self-worth
  • Self-harm
  • Attempted or completed suicide
  • And possibly more

If you are in distress, contact the Canada Suicide Prevention Service at 833-456-4566.

As a direct result of their abuse, survivors may incur financial losses. These may include damages related to psychiatric treatment, psychological counselling, and other medical expenses. Additionally, if their abuse prevented victims from completing educational opportunities, the trauma they have experienced may have led to a reduced future earning capability and other damages. 

In this province, there is no statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims. That means, if you are the survivor of sexual abuse or exploitation, no matter how far in the past your trauma took place, our  sexual abuse lawyers serving Madawaska County may be able to help you in your pursuit of justice. 

Free Consultation for Madawaska County Residents – We Don’t Get Paid Unless We Win

By working with our Madawaska County sexual abuse lawyers, you may be able to recover financial compensation for damages you incurred or will incur in the future as a result of your abuse. 

To learn how Preszler Injury Lawyers may be able to help, book a free initial consultation with our sexual abuse lawyers serving Madawaska County.


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