Institutional abuse is a pervasive, societal problem that impacts countless children, adolescents, members of vulnerable populations, and other everyday Albertans. It is estimated that nearly one in two residents of the province have been victims of sexual violence. That means 1.8 million Albertans have been subject to the criminal actions of sexual predators.
Anyone can be the victim of institutional abuse, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, or cultural background. However, since institutional abuse typically involves an abuse of power, a betrayal of trust, or an exploitation of dependency, targets are often children, minors, and members of other vulnerable communities.
Institutional abuse can occur when a predator exploits their position of trust, authority, or dependency to convince a younger or more vulnerable target to engage in non-consensual sexual activities. Using their relationship’s inherent power imbalance to their advantage, predators often use blackmail, threats, violence, emotional coercion, and other forms of manipulation against their target to force them into participating in unwanted sexual activities.
Sexual predators often have jobs or pursue volunteer opportunities that put them in close contact with possible targets. As such, they often find work as:
Being subjected to sexual violence and coercion from a young age can continue to haunt survivors of institutional abuse well into their adulthoods. In addition to suffering the adverse physical and mental health effects, many survivors of institutional abuse often find themselves struggling with financial hardships.
It is not uncommon for institutional abuse survivors to incur substantial financial losses as a result of their traumatizing experience. These losses are often related to psychological counseling, addiction treatments, and other costly services required to address their past trauma.
Additionally, many survivors of childhood or adolescent institutional abuse find it impossible to complete their current studies, pursue post-seconday educational opportunities, or undergo vocational training courses that could help them reach their full earning potential. Instead, because of the criminal actions of a sexual predator, they could endure decades of financial insecurity.
It can take time for survivors of institutional abuse to feel comfortable speaking about their experiences and pursuing justice for the wrongs committed against them. For some, it can take years or even decades to feel ready. That is why, in accordance with the province’s Limitations Act, there is no statute of limitations on institutional abuse claims.
No matter how long ago your abuse took place, our Lethbridge institutional abuse lawyers may be able to help you. By pursuing a civil claim against your abuser and any other contributorily negligent party and/or entity (such as their employer, religious order, or governing body) that failed to protect you, our institutional abuse lawyer serving Lethbridge may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Our Lethbridge institutional abuse lawyers offer all prospective clients a free initial consultation. To schedule your confidential, no-obligation, cost-free first meeting, contact us today.
Many survivors of institutional abuse worry that pursuing legal action will be a difficult and expensive process. Our institutional abuse lawyers serving Lethbridge work on a contingency-fee basis. That means we do not get paid unless we win your case.
To learn more about working with our Lethbridge institutional abuse lawyers, call today and book your free initial consultation.
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