MD Attorney General Finally Releases Sex Abuse Report
After many delays, Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown published a 1,000-page report which detailed an “astonishing” amount of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Maryland over the past 80 years.
The report paints a damning picture of the archdiocese, which is the oldest Roman Catholic diocese in the country and spans much of Maryland. Some parishes, schools, and congregations had more than one abuser at the same time. Roughly a dozen known abusers lived and worked at St. Mark Parish in Catonsville between 1964 and 2004. One deacon admitted to molesting over 100 children. The staggering pervasiveness of the abuse itself underscores the culpability of the Church hierarchy,” the report said.
Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, in a statement posted online, apologized to the victims and said the report “details a reprehensible time in the history of this Archdiocese, a time that will not be covered up, ignored or forgotten.”
Effects of Sexual Abuse
Adverse childhood experiences (ACE) could be physical or non-physical. Either way, these victims usually must endure lifelong consequences, such as:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Hypervigilance, anger, flashbacks, and nightmares are some of the most common ACE-related PTSD symptoms. Usually, these symptoms do not emerge until adulthood. So, they completely blindside the victim and are difficult for therapists to treat since there is no identifiable trigger (more on that below).
- Depression/Anxiety: These mental effects, which often appear during childhood, vary greatly. In a few cases, depression and anxiety come and go, and the attacks only last a few days or weeks. Usually, these mental illnesses are chronic, making it almost impossible for victims to function at school, home, or anywhere else.
- Behavioral Effects: Over 80% of men, and over 60% of women, in detox programs endured at least one ACE. Eating disorders, which give victims a distorted view of control over their own bodies, are common as well. So is risky sexual behavior.
- Interpersonal Effects: ACE survivors usually have trust issues, shy away from intimacy, and have high divorce rates. Sexual dysfunction, specifically a lack of arousal and desire, is common as well. PTSD usually makes these symptoms worse, which in turn makes PTSD harder to treat.
Very few ACE victims immediately report the abuse. Many do not think anyone will believe them. Others fear retaliation or do not want the abuser, who is often a trusted individual, to get in trouble.
Compensation for Sexual Abuse
These mental and behavioral effects usually require lifelong therapy and medical treatment. People do not “get over” things like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Controlling the symptoms, which is much easier said than done, is the best possible outcome.
These conditions, which make it hard for children to function in school, also make it hard for adults to function at work. Therefore, substantial lost wages are usually inevitable.
A Baltimore personal injury lawyer can also obtain compensation for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. ACE victims have suffered in silence long enough. They deserve substantial compensation for everything they have been through.
Very few victims must go to trial to get this compensation. Almost all sexual abuse and other personal injury cases settle out of court and on victim-friendly terms.
Connect With a Compassionate Baltimore City Attorney
Childhood sexual abuse survivors are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced childhood sexual abuse survivor lawyer in Baltimore, contact The Yost Legal Group. The new legislation allows two years to file claims. Call us when you are ready for a free, confidential conversation: 1-800-967-8529.