If you ask that question, chances are you or someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse. The quick answer is a sexual abuse lawyer, a personal injury lawyer specializing in sexual violence cases. However, you should know that you are not alone.
Sexual abuse and assault are unfortunately prevalent in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, 11 million Canadians as young as 15 experienced some type of physical or sexual assault in 2018.
If you or a loved one is a victim of sexual abuse or assault, you need to take immediate action. Sexual abuse often results in deep-seated physical, emotional, and psychological damage that the victim does not get over without help. Confronting the perpetrator and making them accountable for their actions will help victims heal and learn to deal with their trauma.
Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault
Recent events have highlighted the prevalence of sexual violence worldwide, but that does not mean things are getting better. The #MeToo movement in Canada has made some inroads into exposing the behavior, but people need to do much more to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Sexual abuse or assault is forcible sexual contact with someone unwilling or unable to give consent. Victims of sexual violence often feel shame and fear because,in many cases, they know the perpetrator, and often the perpetrator is in a position of authority.
Sexual abuse vs. sexual assault
Many people use the terms sexual abuse and sexual assault interchangeably. However, sexual abuse is typically associated with sexual contact with a minor. Sexual assault is usually the term used to describe unwanted physical contact with an adult.
Sexual abuse is a criminal act because children cannot give consent to any type of sexual behavior with an adult. Sexual abuse is not necessarily physical contact. A child made to watch an adult film is one type of sexual abuse.
Sexual assault, on the other hand, is any unwanted physical contact, from touching to rape. A person can be a victim of sexual assault without rape, but rape is an extreme example of sexual assault.
Sexual abuse of children
Any type of sexual violence is horrendous. However, sexual abuse may be far worse because it happens to children. Children are highly vulnerable, and many never recover from the trauma. Those who do not receive the appropriate intervention often develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts over the long term.
While reporting the crime to the authorities and putting the perpetrator in prison is the first order of business, a criminal court will not compensate the victim for any damages. You should also consider the benefits of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the abuser to enable you to cover the costs of recovery from the trauma.
Considerations before Hiring a Sexual Abuse Case Lawyer
Sexual abuse cases are tricky because you are dealing with children. Having them relive their experiences can be very traumatic. You must make sure you choose a lawyer specializing in these cases because they are more likely to handle children properly.
An excellent way to find a specialist in sexual abuse cases is to check their track record. While more than a third of sexual abuse happens in the home, quite a few involve the church, school, or daycare setting. You want to choose a lawyer who has successfully handled sexual abuse cases in as many of these scenarios as possible. That will increase the likelihood of a positive outcome in your personal injury case.
Reasons to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Sexual Abuse Cases
Anyone can file a lawsuit for personal injury in Canada. You do not need a lawyer to do that. However, personal injury lawsuits can be complicated, especially in sexual abuse cases involving a minor. It can be easy to make a mistake that can ruin your chances of getting compensation. Lawyers are less likely to make mistakes in filing and pursuing a personal injury case, although that has happened.
If you want to get the compensation you deserve, you want an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle it for you. They are thoroughly conversant with the applicable laws and the process, and they have the experience to assess the value of your case. Personal injury lawyers are also familiar with strategies and tactics when representing you in a court of law to help you win your case.
Types of Harm Suffered Due to Sexual Abuse
Aside from physical injuries resulting from forcible sexual contact, victims may get pregnant or acquire sexually transmitted bacterial or viral infections such as HIV, syphilis, or gonorrhea. In addition, victims often resort to self-harm as an after effect of the abuse.
Victims of sexual abuse often experience intense fear or anxiety and may have difficulty developing healthy relationships; many resort to substance abuse.
Sexual abuse can lead to several psychological problems: anorexia, bulimia, disassociation, sleep disorders, depression, and suicidal thoughts are just some of them.
If you’re a sexual abuse survivor, talk to a lawyer from Diamond & Diamond now to get legal assistance.
If you experienced sexual abuse even a long time ago, you could still recover compensation from the damages that it incurred to you.
Contact Diamond & Diamond Lawyers Today
Being a victim of sexual abuse is a serious problem. Even if the event or events happened a long time ago, the effects linger on to hinder the child’s physical, emotional, and psychological development. If you are a victim of sexual violence, you can make your abuser pay for their behavior by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond can help. We have years of experience in handling claims for compensation by people suffering physical and psychological injuries resulting from sexual abuse, assault, or harassment. If you want to file a claim, you should speak to one of our lawyers. We do free case evaluation for injury victims throughout Ontario.
Call the Diamond & Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now.