Big Brothers Sexual Abuse

Ontario introduces new legislation to stop sexual violence

Eight short months after the release of its ambitious plan to tackle sexual violence and harassment, the Ontario Liberal government has taken the first step to make those recommendations the law.

Right now, a sexual assault survivor has up to two years to take legal action against his or her attacker before it’s considered “too late” in the eyes of the law, unless the abuse occurred during childhood. This new legislation would remove that limitation period for all sexual-assault cases. This is significant because it “resolves an element of uncertainty and risk for victims who want to focus on their recovery before moving forward with a claim,” said Gillian Hnatiw, a partner at Lerners LLP who argues sexual assault cases in civil court. It will similarly drop the two-year limitation period for survivors trying to get financial compensation through Ontario’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.

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