For years the Church has protected the worst of the worst criminals; the priests and other clergy who sexually abused the children of their Parrish’s. Having litigated a number of these cases we have come to see first hand how the physical abuse and corresponding emotional scarring of these children , now turned adults, continues to haunt them throughout their lives undermining their ability to hold employment, establish and maintain relationships and often leading them down the slippery slope into drug dependency and alcoholism. Sadly, in so many cases the die has been cast for the victims. After years of carrying the burdens of abuse by a trusted authority figure in their lives, they have either become so self destructive in their decision making or have withdrawn so completely from society that any sense of recovery to a normal existence free of self loathing, insecurity and fear of intimacy is unlikely, no matter the extent of therapy made available. Nonetheless, they deserve the chance to start fresh.
A starting point for many of the victims is obtaining accountability not only from the abuser, but also from the institutions that turned a blind eye and protected the wrongdoers rather than the children. Lawsuits filed across the country have given abuse victims the opportunity for vindication. Attorney Paul R. Kiesel, blogs about the need for witnesses to come forward in these cases. Cooperation of witnesses is critical for allowing these innocent victims of abuse to have the truth heard in a public forum rather than behind a shroud of secrecy, to know that they were not at fault for the heinous conduct of these predators but rather they were wrongfully sacrificed to protect the institution.