The Catholic Church has been at the heart of multiple sexual abuse scandals for more than a decade now, with more and more victims. The survivors are generally males (though woman have come forward in record numbers, too) who attended all-boy grade schools and high schools throughout the United States.
This type of systemic abuse is hard to quantify. The victims of childhood sex abuse by the clergy deserve justice – but what does that mean? Is there an award “big” enough, or a sentence long enough, to give survivors some sense of closure to help the healing process begin?
Abuse has been an everyday reality
The sad fact of the matter when it comes to sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is that the abuse has been an everyday reality for Catholic Americans for decades. Most of the victims coming forward now were abused in the 1960s and 1970s, with bishops of the church conducting coverups for years.
The sexual abuse allegations and crimes of the church have hindered the religion; closed churches and schools; questioned the doctrine of the church; questioned the nature of becoming a priest; questioned the role, or lack thereof, of women in the church and more. Of all the effects abuse has had on the church, Catholic schooling has been hit the hardest, hastening the decline of enrollment at schools all across the country over the last two-plus decades.
What have victims received so far?
If you are wondering what it is victims have received up to this point, you are not alone. So far, this is what has happened:
- Apologies have been issued from bishops who orchestrated coverups of sexual abuse
- The church has released some documentation (on a parish-by-parish, or diocese-by-diocese, basis)
- Hotlines and review boards have been created
- Parish staffers have been trained in methods to report and prevent sexual abuse
- Survivors have had meetings with church officials
- Survivor masses have been held
- $3 billion in settlement payments have been made.
Victims of sexual abuse at the hands of the Catholic church deserve more than what has been listed in the previous section. In a word, the victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic church deserve justice.
What is justice?
- Justice is priests being removed from the priesthood, not transferred across the country.
- Justice is priests being tried and convicted of their crimes.
- Justice is priests and the church being made to pay restitution to their victims.
Another form of justice is removing the deadlines placed on civil lawsuits to be filed by future victims of childhood sexual abuse. This is happening, albeit slowly, in states like Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and New York.
Victims of sexual abuse and assault should never have to feel they must stay quiet. Your story deserves to be told. You deserve to be compensated for the horrific acts bestowed upon you no matter when they occurred. Call the compassionate and trusted Los Angeles sex abuse lawyers at Taylor & Ring for the help you need: 310-776-6390, or complete our contact form found on the website.