Jocelyne * was sexually assaulted by her father from 1968 to 1973 when she was between 6 and 11 years old. She denounced the gestures to her mother, then to the police of her municipality, without success. It is only in 2012 that she will find the courage to lodge a complaint against her father, who will finally be sentenced three years later. But Jocelyne will not be eligible for Compensation for Victims of Crime (IVAC) benefits because her claim was filed … too late.
The Québec Administrative Tribunal (TAQ) has just confirmed a decision rendered by the Direction de l’IVAC for review on March 16, 2016. In order to be compensated by the IVAC, it would have been necessary, according to the Tribunal, that Jocelyne’s application be sent no later than October 2011, when she started an individual incest-related therapy she had undergone.
In the TAQ’s judgment, we learn that Jocelyne denounced the incest she suffered to her mother from the age of 6, then at the age of 10, “without it taking any action to to put an end to the criminal acts which it underwent and to ensure its protection “.
At the age of 15, in 1978, Jocelyne made a first complaint to the police against her attacker, “but the police do not respond to the complaint on the grounds that the fact of being sexually assaulted by her father was private estate and settled with the family, “says Judge Denis Gravel.
It was not until the end of her therapy, in September 2012, that Jocelyne found the courage to file a complaint again against her abusive father. She explained to the court that she only learned of the IVAC in 2015 when sentencing. His claim for compensation was filed a few days later, on April 9, 2015.
Too late, according to the TAQ. “The fact that Madame raises the ignorance of the existence of this remedy under the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act until the date of the sentencing of her assailant does not give rise to a right . […] Despite all the sympathy that the Court feels for Mrs. who has been the victim of incest, the decision that it must make is one first and foremost governed by the law, “writes Judge Gravel.
He explains that the starting point for calculating the one-year time limit for filing a compensation claim for victims of crime “is not the moment when Madam learns of the existence of such a program, but the moment when she becomes aware of the relation between the criminal act she has undergone and her psychological state “.
“In the eyes of the Tribunal, there is no doubt that this awareness rises before the sentencing of his attacker in April 2015”, ie no later than October 2011, says Judge Gravel, adding that no disease , hospitalization, psychological problem or closed treatment had prevented Jocelyne from applying for benefits earlier.
The judge also emphasizes that “the behavior and the situation of Madam, in social, residential and educational, did not prevent it from acting with a certain diligence either to inquire or to produce a claim for compensation”.
Emma Williams has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Bobr Telegram , Emma Williams worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella.