Sexual Abuse Settlements Empower Victims to Come Forward
Frank Douglas has posted another interesting article about the Los Angeles priest abuse settlement on his Voice from the Desert blog.
He highlights an important part of the Los Angeles settlement (perhaps the most important part); the requirement for the Archdiocese to release to the public documents about it’s knowlege of the predatory habits of the Archdiocese’s sexually abusive priests.
Sexual abuse thrives on secrecy. Sexual predators manipulate their victims through shame and guilt. The article points out that:
when the predators’ names come out, other victims of the same perpetrator are often empowered to come forward.
Unfortunately, in some cases the names come out too late. In one case I am currently involved in David Martin took his own life because he could no longer deal with the pain of the sexual abuse he had suffered at the hands of Father Hugh Vincent MacDonald. His suicide note disclosing the abuse launched a police investigation that uncovered dozens of MacDonald’s sexual abuse victims, most of whom I now represent. Unfortunately MacDonald died before he could be tried and convicted, robbing his victims of the opportunity to hold him accountable.