Quebec Under Pressure To Remove Time Limit For Filing Sexual Assault Complaints

Quebec province is under pressure to remove the time limit on victims to file a complaint against sexual assault and marital violence. Currently, the Quebec civil code allows only 30 days’ time to file such complaints.

Prince Edward Island and Quebec are the only provinces that still have so many time limits for filing complaints. The move to end the 30-year-old deadline for filing sexual assault complains in Quebec is mainly aimed at helping people who have been getting assaulted in their childhood years by members belonging to religious congregations. Sebastien Richard, a supporter of the change, said during a news conference that most victims of sexual crimes feel shame and guilt which prevent them from taking right steps when the incident happens.

Most people will take decades to open up and to take the action against the crime they suffered. According to Alain Arsenault, the lawyer involved in a suit against a religious congregation, many people will come forward to find justice if there were no time limits to do so. Each person affected by such crime is entitled to get $100,000 to $150,000 as compensation. Marc Bellemare, another lawyer, feels that it is necessary to act fast as the alleged victims and offenders are very old.

The three opposition parties, the Parti Quebecois, the Coalition Avenir Quebec and Quebec solidaire are in favor of removing the time limit.

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About the Author: Sidney Martin

Sidney Marin Is a researcher and law student at York University (TORONTO). He has worked as the Director of the Graduate Lawyering Program. He worked for American law firms in Moscow, Russia for three years. Hegraduated from Columbia Law School, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs and Harvard College. He research interest is in human rights and health law, with a particular focus on the law and policy of vaccination.