AS PRIEST SCANDAL HITS CLOSE TO HOME, INDIANA PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS PAY ATTENTION
A leading American cardinal who met with Pope Francis just last month to discuss the sex abuse crisis that has engulfed the Roman Catholic Church is now facing criticism over a Texas priest who was arrested this week on charges of indecency with children, the New York Times reports.
Unfortunately, as we know all too well at Ramey & Hailey Law, the priest child abuse stories are not a thing happening “somewhere else” – abuse is very much an Indiana phenomenon. Only last week, one headline in the Indianapolis Star read “12 priests from diocese suspected of misconduct”, referred to the 74-year old Catholic diocese in Lafayette, Indiana, while a second headline read “Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese releases names of 18 priests or deacons accused of sex abuse”. The publication of the priests’ names followed a civil lawsuit claiming that he had been sexually abused at a 1982 Catholic youth rally in Carmel, Indiana, IndyStar commented.
“A list of 18 priests who have been “credibly accused” of child sexual abuse in northern Indiana includes those who spent time, ranging from a few months to decades, at local parishes in South Bend, Mishawaka, Elkhart and Granger,” reports the South Bend Tribune.
At our personal injury firm of Ramey & Hailey Law, we know that sexual abuse is one of the most extreme forms of hurt one person can inflict on another. The emotional and psychological damages caused by sexual harassment are very real, and our dedication is to become the voice for victims brave enough to help prevent this sort of crime from happening to others.
Lawsuits are currently being filed by abuse victims across the United States, including our state of Indiana. So far, dioceses and religious orders were forced to pay settlements totaling more than $3 billion. But, for us personal injury attorneys, the most important aspect of this awful and widespread sexual abuse scandal is not the settlements, nor even the fact that a leading religion is involved.
The Case for Women website talks about the power of stories, of voices, of families. “When one of us is hurt, we must all stand up…Lawsuits probably aren’t what you think they are,” the website continues. “Lawsuits help to create lasting, powerful change.”
“If you were hurt by any type of clergy sex abuse, please do not keep this to yourself or attempt to handle this on your own. Healing so often comes from taking action,” Case for Women continues. “Taking civil legal action is a way to regain your power and to help others by using our legal system to punish existing predators and make it much harder for future would-be assailants to carry out their dark plans.”
As a husband-wife team at Ramey & Hailey Law, we want to reach out to folks who know they need to speak out, who need to talk about what happened to them or to someone they love. The sexual misconduct may have to do with a member of the clergy – or it may not. Victims need to know that they may be entitled to financial compensation, which can help them rebuild their lives.
Either way, they need to know that at our personal injury law firm, they will find two people to listen without judgment.