Most perpetrators of sexual abuse have a pre-existing, personal, or professional relationship with their victims. Since sexual abuse involves an exploitation of power, victims of abuse are often children, adolescents, or members of vulnerable communities. Adult victims of sexual abuse often include incarcerated people, disabled people, and patients at psychiatric hospitals.
The perpetrators of sexual abuse use an imbalance of power between themselves and their victims to their advantage. They prey upon their victims’ dependence upon them, exploit the trust they have placed in them, or abuse their positions of authority within a larger institution in order to engage in non-consensual sexual activity.
Children are not capable of giving consent for sexual activities. Even teenagers who have reached the age of consent but are still minors cannot give informed consent to an adult who holds a position of trust or authority (e.g. teachers, religious figures, sports coaches, etc.) or upon whom they are dependant (e.g. foster parents, family members, etc.) Adults who use their positions of power to coerce or manipulate minors, threaten them, or use physical force in order to engage in non-consensual sexual activity have committed sexual abuse.
In many cases, sexual abuse occurs within the framework of a larger organization. Perpetrators of sexual abuse use their positions of power, authority, or trust within these organizations to prey upon the young or vulnerable people for whom they have been hired to protect. Sexual abuse can occur within the structure of a number of different institutions, including:
- Religious institutions
- Sports leagues
- Extra-curricular programs
- Summer camps
- Detention centres
- Psychiatric facilities
- And more
When organizations learn that one of their staff members, representatives, volunteers, or other affiliates has used their position to commit sexual abuse, they have a legal obligation to take swift actions, including notifying the proper authorities and removing the perpetrator from their position. If an organization fails to do so, essentially, they become complicit and responsible for allowing the cycle of abuse to continue perpetuating itself. By giving sexual predators free reign to exploit young and vulnerable people in a consequence-free environment, the leadership of organizations commit a form of sexual abuse known as systemic or institutional sexual abuse.
Being sexually abused can have lifelong psychological and emotional repercussions, especially if the survivor was victimized as a child or an adolescent. Sexual abuse survivors often develop unhealthy, self-destructive coping mechanisms to try overcoming the trauma from their past. In most instances, sexual abuse survivors sustain substantial financial losses related to psychiatric treatment, psychological treatment, and other necessary expenses to address the mental health issues they have developed in direct response to the abuse they suffered. Furthermore, people who were abused sexually may find it impossible to complete their education or vocational training, which may lead to financial losses related to their reduced earning capabilities.
If you were the victim of sexual abuse, discussing the trauma from your past can be an extremely emotionally challenging process. Our sexual abuse lawyers serving Miramichi are passionate about helping the survivors of sexual abuse in their pursuit of justice and accountability. Since there is no statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims, no matter how far in the past your abuse took place, you may be able to pursue a civil claim to recover financial compensation for damages you have incurred as a result of your abuse.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, by working with our Miramichi sexual abuse lawyers, you may be able to pursue a claim for damages against your abuser as well as the organization that employed them or was responsible for introducing you to them. To learn more about how Preszler Injury Lawyers may be able to assist you, schedule a free initial consultation with our sexual abuse lawyers serving Miramichi.
Free Consultation for Miramichi Residents – We Don’t Get Paid Unless We Win
Preszler Injury Lawyers offer a free initial consultation to all prospective clients. During your cost-free, no-obligation first meeting with our Miramichi sexual abuse lawyers, you will have the opportunity to review the circumstances of your case and learn about options for financial recovery that may be available to you.
To schedule your free initial consultation with Preszler Injury Lawyers, call our sexual abuse lawyers serving Miramichi today.