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Articles Posted in Sexual Assault

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There is a black eye on Canada’s Military; and it’s not due to lack of funding or purchase orders of military helicopters or planes gone bad.

In a Government Census, approximately 25% of women serving in the Canadian Military reported being sexually assaulted during their military careers.

Pause and think about that stat long and hard.

Nearly 1 out of every 4 women serving in Canada’s military has been sexually assaulted in their military career.

That statistic is mind blowing! Any other industry would be completely shut down if that’s how women are treated in the workplace. You would have police, government officials and activist groups swarming the employer to the point they would not be able to function. It would be a business and PR nightmare. In the age of cancel culture; this employer would be ruined beyond the point of no return.

But what happens when that delinquent workplace is a public institution; like the Canadian Military?

We can’t stop shopping or boycott the Canadian military.

I suppose that people can withdraw for service, or simply not enlist to serve in the Canadian Military because the work environment appears to be less than optimal; particularly for women. There are other noble ways to serve and to protect one’s country. But the Canadian Military needs people so so many things. The Canadian armed forces does not run on robots or cheap migrant labour. How does the Canadian Military attract Canadians to enlist and serve the country with such bad PR? More importantly, how does the Canadian Military attract women to fill the ranks?

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Recently I watched the Netflix Docuseries Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich. It was a disturbing watch which made me feel a lot of emotions. Anger, shock, sadness, grief, rage, and some more anger to name a few emotions.

It was an interesting watch which I highly recommend it. I certainly understand if it’s not up someone’s alley because it deals with very sensitive and disturbing matters. But these are the sort of things which personal injury lawyers who deal with sexual assault, sexual abuse and trafficking claims see regularly.

If you aren’t familiar with the Jeffrey Epstein cases, his history, his wealth, power and influence, I recommend that you do your own research; or watch the docuseries.

A few notes from the series which are important for people to understand and victims of sexual abuse with potential claims to understand.

  1. It’s really hard for victims of sexual assault, sexual abuse and human trafficking to confront their accuser and report what they’ve been through to the authorities. It takes a lot of strength, courage and confidence to do so. And just because a victim does step forward, does not necessary mean that s/he will be believed, or that the authorities will take the complaint seriously. In the Docuseries, we saw a first two survivor sisters who reported Mr. Epstein to the FBI early on after a series of alleged sexual assaults on his New Mexico ranch. It would appear that the FBI did not do very much with these accusations until years later when more victims stepped forward. In that period of time, Mr. Epstein was left unchecked. Had the authorities properly investigated the allegations, his behaviours may have been curtailed much earlier on.
  2. There is power in numbers. Many victims of Mr. Epstein stepped forward to share their stories with authorities after word got out that he was being investigated. This helped the authorities build their case against Mr. Epstein, and gave the survivors confidence that they were not alone in this. It appeared that they did not have as much confidence to step forward beforehand given Mr. Epstein’s wealth, power and influence.

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Our law firm is approached by countless prospective clients regarding sexual assault claims.

The courage and strength the survivors have to step forward and speak with a personal injury lawyer about what they’ve been through is truly remarkable. I can’t begin to tell you about how difficult it can be for people to speak up and speak out about what they’ve been through. Even if all conversations with our lawyers and confidential, it still takes a lot for anyone to dig deep and recount to the events which have haunted their lives. Our hats off to all of the people who have opened up to us in the past; and continue to do so to this day. We appreciate the confidence and trust which you have put in out law firm to handle such meaningful and emotional claims.

We have been proud throughout the years to represent survivors of sexual assault in their claims against institutional defendants such as schools, hospitals and religious institutions. We have also been proud representing sexual assault survivors against various professionals such as doctors, dentists, teachers and religious figures.

Unfortunately, the law has a way of dehumanizing claims. The people who step forward to advance their claims are simply referred to as “The Plaintiff“; and the abuser is simply referred to as “The Defendant“. The law then takes the next step of examining one’s pain and suffering not but what a person may say on the stand; but by what’s contained in their medical, treatment or counselling records. If it’s not contained in the records, then it may not ring true in a Court of law.

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The first rule in personal injury law is to make sure that you sue a Defendant with deep pockets. That means the Plaintiff and his/her personal injury lawyer need to be satisfied that the Defendant has the ability to pay out on a potential settlement or judgment. If the Defendant cannot pay, the Plaintiff will not be compensated despite winning the case.

You can’t get blood from a stone. Nor can a personal injury lawyer recover compensation from an impecunious Defendant.

This is a very important concept.

There is certainly vindication on behalf of an injured Plaintiff in securing a judgment against a Defendant who has wronged him/her. The feeling of winning, justice, or simply closure are very important feelings.

But these feelings cost money.

If the Plaintiff has deep pockets, and doesn’t mind spending thousands of dollars in legal fees without a prospect of recovery in order to secure a Judgment; then all the power to that Plaintiff.

But these wealthy Plaintiffs who are prepared to spend the type of money required to secure a judgment in a personal injury action are few and far between.

Most Plaintiffs don’t have deep pockets to pay a lawyer’s hourly rates. On top of that; most lawyers won’t take on cases on a contingency fee basis on a “winnable” case if there is no realistic prospect of recovery.

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