Little Flower Institute, often called the Little Flower orphanage, was a Catholic run orphanage located at 12 Villa Dr, Little Bras D’or, from 1927 until 1953.[i] The orphanage was owned by the Diocese of Antigonish and operated by the Sisters of St. Martha.[ii] Some of the orphan’s that resided at the Little Flower Institute in Sydney, Nova Scotia were the children from St Mary’s Home, Sydney, Nova Scotia, a home run by the sisters of St. Martha for unwed mothers. The orphanage was destroyed by fire on March 4th 1953. The Little Flower Institute was then moved to the back of St Anthony Daniel Church in Sydney, Nova Scotia.[iii] St. Anthony Daniel Church was opened on July 7, 1963 located at 105 Alexandra St, Sydney, NS and then closed in 2014. [iv] [v]
The Involvement of the Province
Starting in 1912, the Children’s Protection Act, SNS 1912, c 4 legislated the province of Nova Scotia’s duty to visit, inspect, and assist in operation of homes such as the Little Flowers Institute. As far back as the 1930s, the Halifax Protestant Orphan’s Home also received grants and funding from the province. In these circumstances, both the Little Flowers Institute and the province of Nova Scotia were responsible for the physical and emotional well-being of the children at the Halifax Protestant Orphan’s Home.
Institutional Abuse and Sexual Abuse
Institutional abuse of individuals, whether they are elderly, disable, or children, is a great concern in society today. Unfortunately, numerous institutions, schools, churches, and other organizations have been accused of such mistreatment and of turning a blind eye to the physical, emotional, and sexual abuses that were inflicted upon persons in their care or custody.
Furthermore, sexual abuse has additional physical and psychological effects, which can dramatically alter the life of a victim. As most abusers are family, friends, or individuals in a position of authority it can often take years of decades for a survivor to come forward.
No Time Limit on Bringing Institutional Abuse or Sexual Abuse Claims in Nova Scotia
In 2015, the Nova Scotia Legislature made amendments to the Limitation of Actions Act, SNS 2014, c 35, which removed any time limitation on when a lawsuit must be filed in regard to sexual abuse or claims based on emotional, physical, or financial dependency (such as being a resident at an orphanage or other institution), even if the claim occurred before 2015 and a prior limitation period had expired. This means that historical victims of sexual abuse or abuse while under the care of an institution who are now ready to come forward can initiate lawsuits, even though the abuse happened years or even decades previous.
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.