Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Suing Your Offender -- Should You Do It?

Many survivors of childhood sexual abuse and of sexual assault as an adult have so many issues to deal with. All the legal issues can be so confusing. How do you figuring out if you want to attempt to have criminal charges brought up against your offender? How do you know if you want to start a civil suit? How do you find an attorney?

If you click on the title of this entry it will bring you to the following site:

Civil Remedies for Victims of Sexual Abuse


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard others say, and realized I had to do so as well, that one should take the time to heal and recuperate before pursuing legal action.

But what does one do if one's abuser ends up fleeing the country in the meantime? Is it still worthwhile to at least still file charges?

January 25, 2005 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's always a good idea to file a police report if someone sexually assaults someone. Even if they left the country. At least it creates a paper trail. You never know if and when that person will come back to the country he/she offended.

Also if he/she victimizes someone else, at least there's documentation that allegations were made before.

January 25, 2005 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it against halacha to sue someone? I think you need to check with your rabbi first!

January 25, 2005 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what's halacha?

Why would you have to ask your rabbi first? I don't think it should make a difference what a rabbi says.

January 25, 2005 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish someone would have sued people like Carlebach, Lanner, Bryks and Gafni. Even if criminal cases were never brought up against some of them, at least a civil suit should have been done.

January 25, 2005 10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the emotion toll suing your offender could bring. Wouldn't you have to sit in a court room with him present?

I don't think I could do that. I don't want to ever see his _ucking face again.

January 25, 2005 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A survivor will not have to meet the perp in court if an out-of-court settlement is reached.

These settlements are usually for less money than compensation awared after a full trial, but it is quite a bit less emotionally traumatic and time-consuming.

An Attorney

January 25, 2005 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you find an attorney? and how do you pay for these sorts of things? I spend all my money on therapy.

January 25, 2005 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Halacha = Jewish Law

January 25, 2005 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call Vicki Polin for the name of a certain attorney who has a passion for these types of clergy abuse cases.

January 25, 2005 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do rabbis feel about survivors suing their alleged offenders? I think we should have input from at least one.

January 25, 2005 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you call Rabbi Blau. He's at YU. He has been extremely helpful to me. He works with Vicki, so I feel more comfortable with what he says.

January 25, 2005 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if there are halachic ramifications of persuing legal action against an offender who is a parent (kibud av). I tried to research it once, and found some support that it's NOT ok to prosecute a parent. Anyone else know? I feel like there shouldn't be any halachic prohibition against suing a non-parent offender---> what would be the problem?

January 25, 2005 4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the offender is more likely to "respond" to being chastised by a Beth Din, because he could object on halakhic grounds to going to court (not that he could avoid it legally but that he would use that in certain circles to discredit his accuser, a sympathetic Beth Din would be a more appropriate venue.

A Rabbi

January 26, 2005 6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See the articles on The Awareness Center's site concerning honoring abusive parents. In my opinion, not a problem to sue offenders who are your parents.


Honoring Parents Who Are Abusive
© (2003) Benzion Sorotzkin, Psy.D.

January 26, 2005 9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to note -- it is so encouraging to see rabbis commenting and lending their support and information! And an attorney! Thank you all.

January 26, 2005 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sued the man who assaulted me when I was a boy. I was able, as an adult, to speak on behalf of the wounded boy inside of me. I let out all of the pain. It saved my life!

I am moving forward with my life and I encourage other survivors to consider litigation as an option in their healing process.

February 20, 2005 6:28 PM  

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