Information Regarding Methods of Acquiring Restitution, Compensation for Pain and Suffering, and Adequate Payment for Therapy and Medication
The decision regarding whether an MK who has been victimized wishes to find restitution is often determined by complex factors which are individual for each victim and their families. Once this decision is made, there are many kinds of avenues to restitution, including arbitration, mediation, litigation and other types of alternative dispute resolution. Mk Safety Net does not recommend any of these modalities. We do however want to make information available to those who wish to.
Some basic information about some of the possibilities:
Some things to keep in mind:
The Statute of Limitations can impact mediation, and is very important in civil action. Generally, but not always, litigation is filed in the state or province in which the organization or denomination is incorporated, or in which the perpetrator lives. If you have an interest in taking this route, it is important to know the statute of limitation which applies to you. The National Association to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Children (NAPSAC) has compiled resources for each U.S. State. Click here to see the statute of limitations for your State.
A note: In some states now, the Statue of Limitation begins running when a victim has discovered the abuse happened to others as well as to him/her, that they were neither “responsible” for being victimized nor were not alone in being victimized. The Statute of Limitations can also begin running when a victim realizes that the Church, mission or denomination knew about the abuse but did nothing to stop it. Once a victim is outside the Statute of Limitation there are fewer options for them. So it is important to educate yourself in order to make an informed decision within that period. A lawyer will advise regarding this.
The Statue of Limitations differs in Canada and the U.S. For example, in Canada there is no statute of limitations for prosecution of sexual assault. This means that a survivor is legally entitled to press charges of sexual assault at any point in time after it occurs, no matter how long ago it happened. Police do require a warrant to arrest under an indictable offence. Contact a lawyer for information regarding the statute of limitations regarding financial compensation for damages and pain and suffering. Here is a brief overview of sexual assault laws in Canada.
Finding lawyers with clergy abuse:
If you are interested in contacting a lawyer with expertise in victims who have been abused by clergy and within church contexts, Jeff Anderson’s firm can refer you to lawyers in your area or in the State in which your denomination / mission is incorporated. The firm’s website is, http://andersonadvocates.com/default.aspx.
It is important to have emotional and psychological support while going through any of these avenues of restitution. For many, asking for restitution is contrary to the belief system in which we grew up, so the process creates internal dissonance. Other factors, such as confidentiality agreements, tap into the pain experienced when maintaining secrecy about the abuse itself.
Disclaimer: Each individual needs to contact appropriate professionals in their region for the applicable laws relevant to their situation. Mk Safety Net has compiled this information, but it is up to each individual to research the law which applies to them.