Trauma, Trials, and Transformation
Guiding sexual assault victims through the legal system and beyond
Victims of sexual assault or abuse may feel that they face insurmountable obstacles to recovery or the pursuit of justice. The goal of this book is to facilitate their emotional and psychological journey and to demystify some of the complexities of the legal system. Trauma, Trials, and Transformation is a guide for anyone who has been sexually assaulted and who wants to hold the offender accountable. It will also assist law enforcement, court, and helping professionals who work in this area. What sets this book apart from other, similar legal guides is its focus on both the legal and the psychological perspective. Effective navigation of the complex legal system terrain requires not only knowledge of that system, how it works, who the main players are, and their views and objectives, but also emotional and psychological preparedness. To write this guide, the authors have drawn on their first-hand experience in the courts, their direct professional experience with those who have been sexually assaulted or abused, and a review of the legal and psychological literature. The authors are a Crown prosecutor and two clinical psychologists. Trauma, Trials, and Transformation is written in everyday, accessible language. The authors have included a glossary of common terms to assist the reader in communicating and understanding legal concepts when dealing with legal professionals. The appendices include some very practical checklists. The book also contains a special chapter on civil litigation, which summarizes some alternative methods of seeking redress following a sexual crime. The final chapter is devoted to the topics of systemic change and personal growth, illustrated with stories of inspirational people who transformed their lives and those around them in the aftermath of traumatic experiences.
"This book is invaluable for lawyers as well as other professionals, victims as well as lay people. It is comprehensive as it looks at the issue of sexual assault from many perspectives, from the legal to the physical and psychological. It is easy to read and it strikes me as an incredibly useful, practical, and effective tool for many actors in the judicial system, as well as for victims. It is an exciting addition to the literature on the subject and I am sure it will be very well received by the legal community and the community in general. I do not think that there is another book on the subject that draws on the law as well as on psychology and empathy for victims while still being fair and balanced. "- Honourable Claire L’Heureux-Dubé, Retired Justice, Supreme Court of Canada (from the Foreword)