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#418072 - 12/03/12 11:51 PM Legal Actions?
Afldman Offline

Registered: 07/12/12
Posts: 67
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Anyone have any experience with taking legal action for their abuse? I have the opportunity, and I really can't decide. I've been struggling with this since the news hit about the boy scouts several weeks ago. In case anyone is contemplating assisting me with this decision I provide the following as background:

- I've always known it happened. Until recently I didn't realize it was such a horrible thing. He had me so convinced that it was something done to show love.
- The boy scouts and he were taken to court in MD for the same thing (I was abused in RI).
- He "lost" the case in MD. In RI he was sentenced to therapy (I wasn't involved in the litigation at that time).
- The scouts won their case by throwing mud on the family of the victim.
- He's dead.

My thought is to possibly establish a case against the scouts. My questions are these:

- Is there any potential benefit to me? (closure? vindication?)
- Are there any potential hazards for me? (public disclosure of my history?)
- Is there any potential benefit to the youth now and future? (I have decided that if I go forward with this, I will establish a fixed percent of any settlement to donate to a worthy cause, such as boy/girls club of America)

That's about it. Anyone out the having gone through the litigation process, please let me know as much as you can about your experience.

Thanks everyone.
"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them." -Daliai Lama

#418144 - 12/04/12 02:14 PM Re: Legal Actions? [Re: Afldman]
cant_remember Offline

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1070

I have not been in a situation to litigate... but here are my thoughts:

Think about one of the possible negatives as a positive. That is, public disclosure can be empowering, not always a "hazard," as you say.

Even if you lose, it will be a great example to other survivors and a warning shot to other potential perps. Your disclosure and court case could rescue and save untold numbers of kids from abuse.

Let us know if we can help.

I'll be just fine and dandy
Lord, it's like a hard candy Christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But I won't let sorrow get me way down.

#418146 - 12/04/12 02:32 PM Re: Legal Actions? [Re: Afldman]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3852

You can view it as an opportunity to take your life back. But the reality is the Boy Scouts like the Catholic Church will use all in its power to revictimize you, to make you believe it did not happen or something you brought on yourself. If you can overcome the attacks on you and the past, and with time ability to support your abuse with physically and corroborative evidence can be difficult.

I know my abuser and I have talked to people who have gone to the church tribunals for justice. Several found it empowering others felt the pains and hurt all over--they were made to feel guilty. It seems to depend on the individual, your support system and the group who will be reviewing your case--there are some compassionate people in these organizations and others who are still in denial.

Whatever you decide, take your time to think it through, and whatever decision you make--it is your decision and it will be the right one I had someone say I should sue so they could get some of the money. that was not right for me at that time. I am playing with the idea of pursuing since I met a priest who gave me support and compassion during a difficult time and helped me face the place of the abuse. He also offered to help me through the process. He did not push and said it was my decision and in my own time. I think that is the best advise.

Good luck

Edited by KMCINVA (12/04/12 02:58 PM)


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