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Sexual Abuse Lawsuits: Limitation Periods

DanielleBartlettWith the #metoo movement storming current headlines, you may be wondering, what about sexual misconduct that happened before the hashtags?

In Ontario, the standard limitation period is 2 years from the date you discovered you suffered a loss. Once that period expires, would-be claimants are barred, with few exceptions, from bringing a lawsuit. In Ontario, the standard 2 year limitation does not apply in most cases of sexual assault and abuse.

In 2016, Ontario changed the Limitations Act to remove the limitation period for civil lawsuits relating to sexual assault and abuse.

Why wait to bring a claim years later? Times have changed. With the RCMP sexual harassment and Harvey Weinstein lawsuits making international news, more and more survivors are now breaking their silence. Often times, victims:

  • Do not realize the effects of sexual abuse until years later;
  • Struggled to define their experience as “assault”;
  • Were afraid their story would not be believed; and
  • Did not have the emotional and financial means to pursue a lawsuit.

We can assist you in deciding whether or not to pursue a civil sexual assault claim.