Sexual and Physical Abuse at the Nova Scotia School for Girls

On September 1, 1914, The Maritime Home for Girls was opened in Truro, Nova Scotia. In the 1960s, the Maritime Home for Girls ran into issues with funding. On April 1, 1967, the Province of Nova Scotia took over the institution and renamed it the Nova Scotia School for Girls.  In 1975, as a result of a riot at the School, the School started to employ male counsellors.  In 1985, Nova Scotia School for Girl was merged with the Nova Scotia School for Boys to create the Shelburne Youth Centre, at the former Nova Scotia School for Boys location in Shelburne, Nova Scotia.


The History of Sexual and Physical Abuse at Nova Scotia School for Girls

In 1991, a former resident of the Nova Scotia School for Girls complained of sexual abuse by a former counsellor named George Moss. The RCMP started to investigate the complaint and soon discovered similar complaints against Moss and against other counsellors Douglas Holett and Roy Mintus.[1] Both Moss and Hollett were hired in 1975 as counsellors at the school. The RCMP discovered that the School had been aware of sexual abuse complaints as early as 1976. As result of multiple complaints Moss resigned 1979. In 1985 Moss was hired a Social Worker by the Province to work in its Cape Breton regional office.  The RCMP in investigating also received complaints of physical force or abuse at the School against residents.

On February 7, 1992, Hollet was charged with indecent assault of a resident. On February 5, 1993, Hollet was found guilty of the indecent assault.

On February 19, 1992, Moss was charged with seven counts of indecent assault. Moss agreed to a plea deal and pleaded guilty to four of the seven counts of indecent assault.

According to the Stratton investigation, ten former residents provided accounts of sexual and physical abuse at the school. As well a former counsellor had reported she had observed sexual and physical abuse and had reported them to the School. [2]

Your Legal Options After Sexual or Institutional Abuse

At Wagners, we’ve met survivors of sexual or institutional abuse who find it extremely difficult to share their experiences, even with a lawyer. We have a team that is professional and compassionate so you can rely on their experience to explain your legal options and provide the assistance you need to fight for your fair compensation. Abuse survivors can trust us to use the information they share to ensure the person or institution responsible are brought to justice. We take the time to evaluate the specifics of your case and advise on the best legal option to help you receive the monetary compensation you need to recover from the abuse you endured.

File criminal charges: If you take this option, you will not get monetary compensation. Investigations will be done, and the accused will be arrested if sufficient evidence is found. If the defendant is found guilty, he or she could face punishment like imprisonment.

Civil lawsuit: In this case, we pursue the case on behalf of the survivor in civil court. If found at fault, the assailant will be required to pay monetary compensation, which would assist the survivor to recover from the abuse.

Class action lawsuit: It is also possible to file a class action lawsuit against an assailant who assaulted several people. The group of survivors can come together to collectively file a class action suit against the person or institution that was responsible for the assault or abuse.


At Wagners, we firmly believe that no amount of compensation can eliminate the pain and suffering that your assailant caused, but there is so much good that comes from a successfully resolved  institutional or sexual abuse claim. As a survivor, the monetary compensation you receive can assist you to recover from the abuse and cater to the medical costs involved. Holding the assailant accountable also restores your dignity and encourages other victims of sexual and institutional abuse to come out and seek justice as well.

The amount of compensation you deserve for your sexual or institutional abuse claim will depend on many factors. Some of these factors include:

  • How the abuse affected your ability to support yourself and make sufficient income
  • The type of medical treatment you need or you have sought due to the abuse
  • The personal or unique circumstances of your lawsuit

We know that sexual or institutional abuse is a terrible experience, and many victims usually have a heavy burden that they are likely to carry for a long time. For this reason, we offer reliable legal assistance that you need to get the monetary burden off your shoulders. Our main goal is to build a strong strategy and successfully fight for your rights.





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