In criminology terms assault is an act of physical harm that harms an individual. Sexual assault is an act of physical harm that has sexual motives. This is commonly known as rape in most parts of world, but rape is just a fraction of what sexual assault really is. Rape is more of a specific term, because it defines the actual penetration of a victim. Yet, sexual assault also includes heinous acts such as the groping of an individual, kissing them without consent, or the torture of an individual in any sexual manner.
It is often thought that sexual assault is only committed by men and that women are always the victim of sexual crimes. This is a complete myth and the fact is that, about 20% of the victims are male. That may not be as high as women victims, but the number is not negligible.
It is estimated that yearly 440,000 acts of sexual assault are committed in Canada alone. A country that is known for its low crime rate and friendly people. What is more alarming, is that only a very few people come forward to make a formal complaint against their assaulter. In fact, only 33 out of 1000 people come forwards and only 3 of these cases leads to a conviction. That means an alarmingly high number of toronto sexual assault get off without any punishment at all.
This may be the reason that only 6 cases out of every 100 is even taken to higher authorities. Another issue is that, 60% of these victims are under the age of 17, which means that they might not even be aware of their rights. It might also be said that the victims fear for their future safety and the fact that even though they are filing a complaint; their assaulters will not face any punishment. Another key issue is that about 80% of the assailants are relatives and/or friends of the victim. Which makes it even harder to come forward. Victims fear that they will be shut down and will not be believed even if they came forward with their experience and decide to keep it to themselves.
Sexual assault is a huge issue and a major reform needs to occur in terms of laws and awareness. Sexual assault lawyers can be one of the key players in influencing a more stringent punishment and strict law reform for sexual assault cases. If victims felt safe enough to speak with a lawyer, that would make a huge difference in the number of people that actually make a formal complaint.
Sexual assault lawyers in Toronto and all over Canada are readily available to assist victims and ensure that they receive justice. There is an abundance of lawyers that are readily available not only help victims, but to ensure that the assaulters receive the punishment that they deserve. Victims need to be made aware that even thought they are victims; they are not powerless, they have the right and ability to defend themselves.