Legal aid for victim of sexual abuse
The HFHR has instructed counsel to represent a victim in a sexual abuse case. The abuse occurred in a therapeutic facility for children.
The Foundation points out that in cases of sexual offences against children it is crucial to ensure that victims’ procedural rights can be exercised to the fullest extent possible. Victims should be provided with guarantees of the effective exercise of their rights such as the right to make submissions or take part in individual steps of the procedure. However, first and foremost, victims should be afforded the right to be represented during proceedings by professional counsel.
On 13 March 2018, a district court rendered a judgment in this case. The defendant was sentenced to 7 years in prison and permanently disqualified from the profession of a child therapist. He also received a restraining order prohibiting any contacts with the victims.
At the request of the HFHR, the victim was represented pro bono by Dr Hanna Gajewska-Kraczkowska of Domański Zakrzewski Palinka.
The judgment is not yet final.