Tribunal rules Quebec father sexually assaulted by wife qualifies for victim compensation

Quebec Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette announces a program to modify compensations for victims of crime, at the legislature in Quebec City, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

A tribunal has found that a Quebec man who became a father after he was sexually assaulted by his wife qualifies for payments from the provincial fund for victims of crime.

The province’s administrative tribunal was asked to rule whether the man should receive the compensation given to someone who supports a child born of sexual assault.

The officials who oversee the fund had denied his request, noting among other things the father did not have custody of the child and that the amounts are meant for a parent who can’t work.

However, the ruling notes the wording of the law can also include someone other than a mother if that person assumes financial care of the child.

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Bill 12 to grant victims of sexual assault and rape more parental rights

Calling the matter a “unique” case, a panel of two administrative judges agreed with the father, noting that he alone provides financial support for the child as the mother is unemployed.

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None of the parties are identified in the decision dated May 19 and released earlier this month.

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The tribunal also found the father does try to play a part in the child’s life but is forced to deal with his assailant. It concluded he would be more involved if he wasn’t re-traumatized after visits to her home.

The couple came to Canada in 2008 and conflicts arose soon after as the man did not want children and was subjected to verbal, physical and sexual violence that got worse over the years.

The abuse spanned between 2010 and February 2013, when he said he was forced to have sex with his wife without a condom after a particularly tense argument with her and his mother-in-law over whether to have children.

The father learned a few weeks later she was pregnant and ultimately left the family, never to return.

Paternity was established in 2018 and the divorce was finalized in 2019.

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