Category: Sexual Abuse

Ghomeshi-Cosby Accusations Highlight Differences Between Canada-US Sex Assault Laws

by John McKiggan

Jian Ghomeshi criminal charges

There are few Canadians that haven’t heard about the sexual assault allegations being made against former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi. Two weeks ago Ghomeshi was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of physical assault. To date nine women have come forward stating they were victims of sexual or physical assault by Ghomeshi. Some of the allegations date back a decade or more.

Bill Cosby facing sex assault allegations but no criminal charges

Employers Knowledge of Sexual Abuse may be a Double Edged Sword: Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Saint John’s v. Guardian Insurance

by John McKiggan

Today the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal from a decision of the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal: Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Saint John’s v. Guardian Insurance

The case is interesting to those of us who represent survivors of childhood of sexual abuse because it illustrates the challenges in recovering compensation for survivors.

In many cases the abuser has little or no assets or is dead. Often a survivor’s only hope of receiving some measure of compensation for their injuries is by pursuing the institution that employed the abuser.

Will a Public Database of Pedophiles Protect Children? The answer may surprise you.

by John McKiggan

The federal government recently introduced legislation to create a public database of child sex offenders.

The bill increases the sentences for child sex crimes and requires sex offenders to provide information when they travel and also facilitates information sharing between various law enforcement agencies.

As an advocate for survivors of childhood abuse I support legislation increasing the penalties for child sex offences.

Estabrooks Sexual Abuse Survivors Plan Class Action Against City of Saint John

by John McKiggan

When I was little, one of the first things my parents taught me was that there are some people you can trust when you need help; your parents, your teachers, and above all, the police. This message was reinforced by our schools and public safety announcements on television.

Unfortunately, for dozens of kids who grew up in the poor south end of Saint John, the local police officer was the last person in the world you could trust.

Predator policeman

Are Pedophiles born that way?

by John McKiggan

As a sexual abuse claims lawyer I have learned more than I want to about the deviancies that cause adults to prey on children. New research coming out of the University of Toronto suggests that Pedophilia may be the result of predisposed brain deficiencies, meaning they were born ‘wired’ that way.


As this video explains, for two years, researchers scanned the brains of pedophilic men using Functional MRI machines. The researchers discovered that, when compared to other men, pedophilic men had significantly less tissue in two regions of the brain. These tissue areas are responsible for connecting other brain regions. The researchers conclude:

Elder Abuse – How Do We Protect our Vulnerable Loved Ones?

by John McKiggan

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse, much like spousal or child abuse, occurs when there is a vulnerable person who is abused or mistreated by those who are in a position of power or trust. In the case of elder abuse the vulnerable person is a senior who may be abused in any number of ways; physically, or financially. The abuse can be inflicted by a spouse, child or other family member, by caregivers, service providers, or any other person in a position of trust.

The U.S. National Center on Elder Abuse defines 6 major types of Elder Abuse:

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops Updating Guidelines on Priest Sexual Abuse

by John McKiggan

Canadian Catholic Bishops are attending their annual Conference this week. The Conference (the CCCB) runs from Sept. 24-28th and is expected to include approximately 90 Bishops from across Canada.

New Rules?

One of the important items on their agenda is the updating of their guidelines for the prevention of clerical sexual abuse. On their approach to the new guidelines the CCCB president, Archbishop Richard Smith told The Catholic Register:

Guidelines to help prevent child abuse

by John McKiggan

I was doing some research to write an article about what organizations can do to prevent child abuse when I came across this article written by my colleague Minneapolis attorney, Mike Bryant.

The article is short and to the point and links out to a variety of articles that non-profits, churches and other organizations can use when coming up with policies and guidelines to help prevent child abuse.

How Organizations Can Prevent Lawsuits for The Abuse of Children

“Explosive” Documentary About Sexual Abuse at School for Deaf

by John McKiggan

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) kicks off in just a few weeks’ time. One of the films premiering at TIFF is Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, a documentary by an Oscar-winning Director Alex Gibney.

The film chronicles the sad and tragic story of a pedophile, Father Lawrence Murphy, who sexually abused as many as 200 deaf children over a period of three decades at St. John’s School for the Deaf in Wisconsin.

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