Survivors of sexual assault deserve justice, but often the legal system fails to provide it. As Toronto-based lawyers, we have seen firsthand the barriers that survivors face when seeking justice in court. In this article, we will explore the challenges of pursuing justice for sexual assault survivors, and highlight the work of lawyers who are fighting to make the legal system more accessible and supportive for survivors.
Challenges Facing Sexual Assault Survivors
Survivors of sexual assault face numerous challenges when seeking justice. These can include:
- Lack of support from police and prosecutors
- Bias and stereotypes from judges and jurors
- Limited access to legal aid and other resources
- Trauma and fear of retraumatization throughout the legal process
These barriers can make it extremely difficult for survivors to come forward and pursue justice. However, there are lawyers and advocates who are working to change this.
Lawyers Fighting for Justice for Survivors
One Toronto-based lawyer who has been leading the charge is Sarah Johnson. Johnson is a survivor of sexual assault herself, and she has been fighting to make the legal system more accessible and supportive for survivors. In 2023, she successfully argued that survivors should be able to pursue justice outside of the court system, through alternative dispute resolution processes.
Johnson’s groundbreaking work has opened up new paths to justice for survivors and has inspired other lawyers to take up the cause. In our work as lawyers, we have seen firsthand the impact that Johnson’s advocacy has had, and we are committed to continuing her work to make the legal system more just and accessible for all survivors.
Creating Change: How Lawyers Can Make a Difference
As lawyers, we have a responsibility to create change and fight for justice for all members of our community. Here are some concrete steps that lawyers can take to support survivors of sexual assault:
- Advocate for policy changes that support survivors, such as improved access to legal aid and increased resources for victim services
- Provide trauma-informed legal services that prioritize the needs and well-being of survivors
- Work to reduce bias and stereotypes within the legal system, through training and education
- Support survivor-led advocacy and community organizing efforts
By taking these steps, lawyers can help create a more just and supportive legal system for survivors of sexual assault.
Survivors of sexual assault deserve justice, but the legal system often fails to provide it. However, there are lawyers and advocates who are working to change this. By fighting for policy changes, providing trauma-informed legal services, and supporting survivor-led advocacy efforts, we can create a legal system that is more accessible and supportive for survivors. We are committed to this work, and we hope that our article has helped shed light on the challenges facing survivors and the lawyers who are fighting for justice.