British Columbia Sexual Assault Lawyers
Sexual assault is a serious crime that can have long-lasting emotional, psychological, and financial consequences for survivors. It refers to any form of sexual contact or behavior that is unwanted or non-consensual.
Consent is the cornerstone of healthy and respectful sexual activity. It means that all people involved in a sexual encounter are freely and willingly agreeing to participate. Without consent, any kind of sexual activity is considered sexual assault. This can include things like sexual harassment, unwanted touching, forced kissing, fondling, exposure, rape, attempted rape, and other forms of sexual violence.
When someone is forced or coerced into engaging in sexual activity against their will, the consequences can be long-lasting and all-encompassing. It is never okay for someone to be forced or pressured into doing something sexual that they do not want to do, or to be placed in a situation where they are not in control of what happens to their body.
Consent is not just about saying “yes” or “no.” It is an active, ongoing, revocable agreement. That means that consent can be withdrawn at any time during a sexual encounter. Even if someone initially agrees to engage in sexual activity, they have the right to change their mind at any point. It is also important to understand that a person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol may not be able to give their consent, as they may not be able to make informed decisions about their own safety and well-being.
People have the right to say “no” to any kind of sexual activity, no matter what. No one has the right to force or pressure someone else into doing something sexual that they do not want to do. Unfortunately, instances of sexual assault are on the rise in British Columbia. In fact, a record number of sexual assaults were recently reported to police, marking a troubling year-over-year increase in reported cases of 15%.
Although it is a common belief that the majority of sexual assault cases are perpetrated by strangers against victims with whom they have no previous relationship, in reality, the opposite is more often true.. Anyone can be a perpetrator of sexual assault, regardless of their age, gender, or social status. And in most cases, sexual assault is committed by someone the survivor knows, such as a friend, family member, or romantic partner. In fact, more than half of reported sexual assaults across the country are perpetrated by victims’ friends, acquaintances, or neighbours.
Surviving sexual assault can have long-term emotional, and financial consequences for survivors and can profoundly impact their psychological well-being for years to come. Being the victim of sexual assault can be a traumatizing experience that can leave survivors feeling overwhelmed, confused, and vulnerable.
In addition to the immediate physical injuries that may result from the assault, survivors may also experience a range of emotional and psychological effects, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As a result of the ensuing mental health issues they have developed as a byproduct of their traumatizing experience, many survivors of sexual assault suffer financial consequences. On top of being forced to pay expensive costs of psychological counseling, prescription medications, and other necessary expenses, sexual assault survivors who cannot return to work or school might incur lost wages, miss out on opportunities for career advancement, and suffer a reduced future earning capacity.
Our British Columbia sexual assault lawyers believe that no one should be forced to navigate the confusing aftermath of a traumatic experience alone. After surviving sexual assault, it is natural to have questions about courses of action you might be able to take, resources that might be available, and avenues in which you might be able to pursue compensation.
If you have been subjected to sexual assault, no matter how far in the past your abuse occurred, you might be eligible to pursue a civil claim against your assailant (and any other party who might be contributorily negligent). By working with our sexual assault lawyers serving British Columbia, you might be able to recover compensation for your damages.
Pursuing a civil claim against a perpetrator of sexual assault is different from pressing criminal charges. Criminal charges are brought by the Crown and are designed to punish the perpetrator for their crime. Civil charges, on the other hand, are brought by the survivor and are designed to compensate them for the damages they have suffered as a result of the assault.
There are many different types of damages that a sexual assault lawyer in British Columbia might be able to help victims recover by pursuing a civil claim. Our British Columbia sexual assault lawyers have experience helping survivors throughout the province recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced future earning capabilities
- Failure to reach potential
- Loss of interdependent relationships
- Psychological counseling
- Psychiatric treatment
- Prescription medications
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- And possibly more
It is never too late to begin working with our British Columbia sexual assault lawyers. That is because, in accordance with the province’s Limitation Act, there is no time limit on sexual assault claims. Even if your assault happened many years in the past, you could still benefit by working with our sexual assault lawyers serving British Columbia and pursuing legal action against your assailant. To learn more about the ways in which we may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve, contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Call 1-800-JUSTICE for Your Free Initial Consultation
It can be difficult for survivors of sexual assault to speak out against their assailant, especially if they are friend, family member, romantic partner, co-worker, or someone in a position of power, authority or trust. Our British Columbia sexual assault lawyers appreciate how difficult it can be for victims to come forward and speak about their experiences.
Our sexual assault lawyers serving British Columbia offer a safe, compassionate, confidential space in which survivors can feel free to share as much or as little about their experience as they would like during their free initial consultation. Our British Columbia sexual assault lawyers provide all prospective clients with cost-free, case-specific legal feedback during our no-obligation initial consultation. To receive personalized legal advice and learn about options for compensation that might be available to you, call 1-800-JUSTICE and speak with our sexual assault lawyers serving British Columbia today.