In many cases, sexual abuse survivors endure the destructive emotional and psychological repercussions of their experience for years, even decades, following their assault. Perpetrators of sexual abuse do not simply rob their victims of their power to control what happens to their bodies at the time of their abuse. Instead, the people who commit these reprehensible crimes cause their victims to live with the pain, trauma, shame, lack of self-worth, and other debilitating mental health conditions for, quite possibly, the rest of their lives.
As a result of their traumatizing experiences, survivors of sexual abuse often develop severe mental health conditions and destructive coping mechanisms, including:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of self-worth
- Attempted or completed suicide
- And possibly more
If you are in distress, contact the Canada Suicide Prevention Service at 833-456-4566.
The coping mechanisms developed by sexual abuse survivors to deal with their trauma may be self-destructive and debilitating. As a result, sexual abuse survivors may lose out on educational opportunities, potentially leading to reduced future earning capabilities. Sexual abuse survivors may incur costly expenses to try recovering from their trauma, including psychiatric treatment, counselling, prescription medications, and more.
In this province, there is no statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims. If you were the victim of sexual abuse, either recently or in the past, our sexual abuse lawyers serving Saint John may be able to provide crucial assistance in your pursuit of justice and restitution.
Any non-consensual sexual activity is sexual abuse. Consent is an active, ongoing, and revocable agreement between adults. Children are not capable of giving informed consent for sexual activity.
Even teenagers who have reached the age of consent but are still under eighteen years old cannot give informed consent to an adult in a position of trust or authority, or upon whom they are dependent. An adult who takes advantage of an imbalance of power in their relationship with a younger person to engage in sexual activity has committed sexual abuse.
This behaviour– also referred to as sexual exploitation– often takes place within the context of a larger organization or entity. Teachers at schools, coaches in extra-curricular sports leagues, spiritual leaders in religious institutions, guards at juvenile correctional facilities are common examples of authority figures who use their position within an organization to sexually exploit vulnerable young people in their care.
If an organization becomes aware that sexual exploitation or abuse has been perpetrated against young or otherwise dependent people in their care by one of their employees or representatives, they have an obligation to act. Organizations that fail to report sexual abuse to the authorities and remove the perpetrators of abuse from their staff may, in fact, create circumstances that allow abusers to continue their practice of preying on the people they are employed to serve. This is referred to as systemic, or institutional sexual abuse.
Organizations who have fostered a culture of institutional sexual abuse may also be liable for damages incurred by their employees’ victims of sexual abuse.
Regardless of how far in the past your abuse took place, our Saint John sexual abuse lawyers may be able to help you recover financial compensation for damages you incurred as a result of your experience. To learn how Preszler Injury Lawyers may be able to help, book a free, initial consultation with our Saint John sexual abuse lawyers.
Free Consultation for Saint John Residents – We Don’t Get Paid Unless We Win
Our sexual abuse lawyers serving Saint John are committed to bringing abusers in the community to justice. Our Saint John sexual abuse lawyers offer a free, initial consultation to members of the local community who are ready to talk about their experiences with abuse.
To learn about legal options that may be available to you, schedule your cost-free, no-obligation initial meeting with Preszler Injury Lawyers as soon as you feel able.