We recognize that sexual assault proceedings can be daunting and emotionally stressful for victims. Our lawyers guide clients through the sexual assault legal landscape with a compassionate, victim-centred approach.
The effects of sexual harassment, sexual assault and abuse can last a lifetime. Legal action can compensate the survivors of sexual assault, and can be an important step in accessing therapy and other support services. Our lawyers assist sexual assault and harassment victims in pursuing civil actions, human rights applications, claims for compensation and internal workplace or institutional complaints and investigations.
In criminal cases, complainants can be faced with applications for disclosure of their personal records. A sexual assault victim may be asked to release mental health records, counselling or therapy records, diaries, or other personal documents. We advise and represent complainants to ensure that the victim’s personal life does not get put on trial unfairly. As well, we can assist record-holders (such as not-for-profit organizations serving victims, counsellors, therapists, psychologists or hospitals) with their rights and obligations regarding disclosure of records in criminal proceedings.
Victims in sexual assault cases may also be faced with intrusive questioning about their prior sexual history. This type of questioning has the potential to shame victims and perpetrate discriminatory stereotypes about women who report sexual abuse. We represent complainants in asserting their rights in these situations.