Sexual Assault Lawyers in Victoria BC

Acheson Law Stands with Survivors

We understand that discussing experiences of sexual violence can be extremely difficult. The lawyers at Acheson Law are committed to providing survivors with information in ways that are flexible and trauma-informed. If you have survived sexualized violence Acheson Law is here to help.

What is Sexual Assault and Battery? 

Acheson Law helps survivors pursue claims in the civil justice system – which is separate from the criminal justice system. Broadly speaking, in the civil system sexual violence can be classified as sexual assault, sexual battery, or both. While sexual battery only occurs when a person physically violates another’s sexual integrity without consent, sexual assault does not actually require physical contact.

If You Are a Survivor of Sexualized Violence, Trust Our Expert Lawyers to Help You Attain Justice

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My Abuser Has Not Been Criminally Charged or Convicted – Can Acheson Law Still Help Me? 

Yes. Civil lawsuits can be successful even if criminal charges are not filed or the abuser is not convicted at trial. 

Civil lawsuits are independent from and unaffected by criminal charges or the results of a criminal trial.

What is the Difference Between a Civil Lawsuit and Criminal Charges? 

Criminal charges are brought on behalf of society as a whole with the purpose of obtaining justice for the general public and upholding the rule of law – the principle that everyone in society must respect and obey the law.

Civil cases on the other hand are designed to compensate the survivor for the harm they suffered. The civil justice system recognizes this harm extends beyond the initial assault and often has ongoing impacts which affect all aspects of a survivor’s life.

Civil cases are not brought on behalf of society, they are brought on behalf of the survivor, meaning the process is survivor-centred.

Sexual Violence – Advantages of the Civil Justice System:

  1. A survivor-centred process: civil lawsuits are not designed to punish the abuser, but instead are designed to compensate the survivor for the harm they suffered. This places the survivor at the centre of the process.
  2. Out-of-court settlement: many civil lawsuits settle before trial, sparing survivors the trauma of reliving their experiences in a courtroom. Alternatively, the survivor may choose to refuse pre-trial settlement offers and proceed to a public trial.
  3. Lower burden of proof: a civil lawsuit succeeds if the survivor proves the claim on a ‘balance of probabilities’, which is much lower than the criminal standard of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. To put it in numerical terms, a ‘balance of probabilities’ means the judge is 51% sure the event occurred, while ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ is much closer to 100% certainty. This means that a civil lawsuit can succeed even if the abuser is not criminally convicted.

If you are a survivor trust Acheson’s expert lawyers to handle your civil claim. We stand with you and are here to help you attain justice. Contact us today to get started.

Sexual Assault Claims in BC FAQs:

What If The Sexual Violence Happened a Long Time Ago?

In BC there is no time limit to initiate a civil lawsuit against a sexual violence abuser. It is never too late – if you are ready, Acheson Law is here to help.

Can My Claim Be Kept Confidential?

Anything said to our lawyers is 100% confidential. If you are ready to initiate a lawsuit we can file court documents using only your initials – protecting your identity from the public and the media.

What If I Can’t Afford a Lawyer?

Acheson Law provides legal services to our clients on a contingent basis – this means you do not pay us anything while we are working for you. We only get paid after the claim settles and only if the claim is successful.

What If I Have More Questions?

Acheson Law understands the idea of initiating a lawsuit can be scary and may seem overwhelming. We are happy to offer free consultations so we can answer all your questions and fully explain your legal options and the process of a civil lawsuit. There is no obligation to proceed with a lawsuit after the consultation. Acheson Law acts only when, and only if, you tell us you are ready.

Book a free, confidential consultation with an expert lawyer today.

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