Ok, I have written on this topic very recently, but I can’t help it if the topic just stays in the news. I am talking about the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse lawsuit crisis, which I just blogged about a few days ago.
But an article in the New York Times today sheds some new light on the crisis. It explains why the Church’s sexual abuse claim crisis is happening so much later in Europe than in the United States. As you will recall, the crisis peaked in the U.S. about a decade ago. Why are the European abused boys, now men, who were molested or raped back in the 60’s and 70’s, only now coming forward? The New York Times attributes the delay in part to the fact that victims in Europe cannot expect significant compensation in Court, as can victims in the U.S. The Times quotes a German lawyer representing 15 sexually abused boys who says the highest civil judgment any child victim of severe sexual abuse has ever received in Germany was less than $70,000.
$70,000 to compensate a man who as a boy suffered “sever sexual abuse” at the hands of a priest! And that’s top dollar over there! And for a crime that totally changes a boy’s life, for the worse, forever. No wonder those abused kids/men have kept their mouths shut for so long over there. Why put yourself through the emotional trauma of disclosing publicly what you shamefully endured privately for so long —- for a maximum of $70,000? Hardly seems worth it to me.
So let me get up on my soapbox again and say I am proud to live in a country where victims of wrongdoing get FAIR compensation for their pain, suffering and emotional trauma for something like childhood sexual abuse. The system in the good ol’ U.S. of A is not only fairer, but it also discourages wrongdoing by encouraging victims, through FAIR compensatory awards, to put the spotlight on the wrongdoers in open court. Compare this to the way they do it on the other side of the pond, where paltry, totally inadequate civil justice “verdicts” encourage nothing but silence. And as we all know, silence is the breeding ground of continued, unremitted wrongdoing.