Can My Son Charge His Offender Years After The Abuse?

by Shawna
(Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada)

I have a question that you might be able to answer for me. If a teenager was sexually molested as a child, but hasn't told anyone until they are teenagers, are they able to go to the police and charge the abuser?

I just found out my son was sexually assaulted by my ex, his stepfather, as a young child, but we don't know what to do. If the abuser can be charged, I may be able to save this from happening to my other children I have from the abuser, if they haven't already been abused.

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Oct 31, 2007
The answer is YES and NO
by: Darlene Barriere

Shawna, as long as the abuse occurred in Canada, there is no statute of limitations for reporting child abuse. You and your son should report the historical abuse with the police. It won't be up to your son to charge his offender; that's up to the prosecutor, who will determine if there is enough evidence to charge your ex. But regardless of the outcome, it is imperative that a report be made so that the complaint is on record and an investigation can be launched. I'm not a lawyer, so I strongly urge you to get some legal advice regarding your ex having access to your other children.

In the meantime, I sincerely hope your son is in some form of counselling for the emotional residue the abuse left him with. Check your local phone listings to learn if there are any victim programs available. Ask the police as well. They may be able to point you and your son in the right direction.

Stay strong, Shawna. Your son needs you more than ever right now. And do get some help and support for yourself too. You're going to be on an emotional roller-coaster over the next while.

Also, I'll refer you to another Commentary page and a post I made to address the conundrum the mother was/is facing. Though your situation is a bit different, there are parallels, or at least there likely will be. I think you'll find the information at the following URLs helpful:
Recent "Allegations" of Child Abuse by Pierrette in Canada

You'll find my comments at the bottom of that submission page under the title "Impossible Position" by Darlene Barriere.

Shawna, I hope you'll keep us informed through these comments.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Oct 31, 2007
Ask an Attorney
by: Anonymous

I think the best thing to do is to ask an attorney to find out for you. I see you're from Canada so I don't have a clue what their laws are. Many attorneys will have a free consultation. Of course shop around and get good info on attorneys. Not all of them are good or out for a client's best interest.

Oct 31, 2007
by: Anonymous

Yes definatly get down the police station my step father abused me regularly the whole time i was growing up i reported him to the police 3 years ago you still have a case save this from happening to your other children

Nov 04, 2007
by: Anonymous

Yes I believe he can still be charged. It might be tuff, because there may not be enough eveidence.

Nov 04, 2007
i think so
by: Anonymous

ok well my ex boyfriend was raped by his brother when he was younger and and now like 8-9 years later he told me. we went to a teahcer and he made me tell the teacher. the teacher said nothing could be done unless my ex said it himself instead of making me talk for him. then childrens aid would go investigate the brother (who was still living in the same house and had a young daughter) and possibly take the child and press charges, so im thinking the answer is yes if your son tells than probably. also just a warning becaus my ex was abused he ended up doing it to another little boy when he was younger and now deeply regrets it, get your son some councelling just to make sure the cycle doesn't continue. hope i helped and give your son a hug for me, i hope everything works out!

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