Beckett Lawyers Speak to Students about Sexual Violence and Trauma-Informed Practice

December 2, 2021

Beckett Lawyers Speak to Students about Sexual Violence and Trauma-Informed Practice's article image

The team of sexual assault and abuse lawyers at Beckett have decades of experience working with survivors of sexual violence. We see the many ways that trauma impacts our clients’ lives. We understand that going through a lawsuit can be challenging, and we work hard to ensure our services are compassionate and trauma-informed.

On December 1, 2021, two lawyers from our Sexual Abuse Department, Chelsea Hishon and Anju Fujioka, spoke with a group of first year clinic students at Western Law to share some of their experiences and expertise on sexual assault and trauma.

The students learned about the legal options available to survivors of sexual violence and trauma-informed lawyering. We discussed trauma, its wide-ranging effects, and ways to recognize when a client’s trauma is triggered. We also shared practical tips and best practices that we implement every day while working with our clients, in order to make the process of litigation feel safe and comfortable.

Sexual assault law is a specialized area of law. However, the skills and knowledge we shared can be applied regardless of the type of law one practices. We hope that the students take our discussions and apply the takeaways when they interact with clients.

A few takeaways from the talk:

  • Sexual assault and other traumatic events or experiences violate a person’s sense of security, agency, control, and power.
  • Many of the effects and coping mechanisms of sexual violence and trauma can be linked to a person’s attempt to regain safety and control.
  • Clear boundaries, honesty, and transparency minimize uncertainty and other trauma triggers.
  • Connect clients with support resources (medical, social or otherwise) if needed and requested.

It was an honour to spend time with a group of eager students. Thank you to Kim Gagan, Director of Clinics & Practical Skills at Western Law, for the invitation to speak. We look forward to speaking with a fresh group of lawyers-in-training next year!

Published on December 2, 2021

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