Over the past few decades, we have been awakened to the devastating fact that childhood sexual abuse is quite a major issue in our country. Regrettably, these acts can have life-long consequences for survivors.
We learned just how widespread sexual abuse was within Catholic Churches over the past few decades and how churches ignored the issue, denied its existence, and even went as far as to cover up any allegations of sexual abuse against cardinals, priests, and even bishops. Until the past decade or so, abused children had very few safe places to turn to and reporting of the incidents fell on deaf ears.
The problems we are seeing now have been an unfortunate part of our history for what some believe to be centuries. So how have abusers been able to get away with it for so long?
Why Are Abusers Hardly Ever Caught?
Given the fact that transparency and accountability were nearly absent in this institutional culture, it is no surprise that abusers were able to get away with their acts for so long. Many church officials actively groomed children and build trust between them, their parents, and their communities. They would manipulate victims to stay silent. If they were caught, they were simply sent home from the church.
Over the past few decades, we have seen attempts in the legal system to bring this issue to light and take action. To date, churches have spent more than $4 billion addressing abuse cases and we can only expect more victims to come forward.
Institutional Cover Ups: A Major Problem
Although most people associate institutionalized sexual abuse against children with Catholic churches, the Boy Scouts of America is also reported quite often in association with child sexual abuse. In fact, over 95,000 claims have been lodged against the Boy Scouts in the group’s federal bankruptcy case. These incidents date back more than five decades and contain more than 12,000 victims.
The Dangers of Secrecy
The fact that so many groups, associations, and agencies go out of their way to cover up instances of sexual abuse makes a vulnerable population more susceptible to being harmed. We see children in school targeted and we continue to see people cover up allegations of abuse. Many people are harmed by people who are in positions of trust and authority. Regrettably, a lot of perpetrators will never be held accountable.
You Have Legal Rights
As a victim of sexual abuse, you have legal rights to help you get justice. Even when the criminal justice courts fail to provide victims with some form of relief, civil courts are still readily available to help victims move forward.
After being subjected to child sexual abuse, you may be able to file a sex abuse claim against your abuser and hold them to account. A lawsuit can help you obtain financial compensation for medical expenses and other economic and non-economic damages you face.
Our lawyer Carmen Durso is available to help you protect your legal rights and get the justice you deserve.
Contact the Law Office of Carmen L. Durso today to speak to our Massachusetts sexual abuse lawyer at your earliest convenience. Our law firm can be reached by calling 617-728-9123. You deserve justice.