For a victim of sexual abuse, it may take years to come to terms with their abuse and to file a claim. This is why it is important for the statute of limitations to be amended and for New Jersey to follow the lead of about three quarters of states that have already implemented similar amendments.
Governor Murphy Signs Law Giving New Rights to Abuse Survivors!! On May 13, 2019, Governor Murphy signed New Jersey’s historic new law for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Most importantly, the new law gives all abuse survivors two years to file a claim for the abuse they suffered, regardless of their current age, and extends the statute of limitations to age 55.
Although the proposed legislation has stalled in the past, it is now gaining momentum after a Pennsylvania grand jury report that exposed the Catholic church for covering up the sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children by 300 priests, several of which had served in New Jersey. Since the groundbreaking report was made public, support has poured out toward Senator Vitale’s bill. This is significant because it will not only bring to light many instances of abuse that were previously swept under the run, but it will also bring justice to many potential or closed cases.
New Jersey has undergone a thorough and lengthy investigation into suspected clergy abuse cases throughout the state following a case where the Archdiocese of Newark was subpoenaed. Advocates are making progress in holding the Catholic church accountable for offences that were previous swept under the rug. Though sexual abuse can occur within any faith, the Catholic church specifically has been under fire because its abuse is so far-reaching and the church’s response has been weak when it came to releasing information or giving compensation to its victims.
New Jersey’s five dioceses released the names of priests and deacons “credibly accused” of abuse over the decades. There are 188 names on the lists from the five dioceses. Of those, more than 100 are dead.
The five NJ dioceses have set up a new compensation fund to offer alleged victims’ settlements in exchange for agreeing not to file lawsuits against the church. However, taking compensation or services from established funds may prevent survivors from being able to participate in future compensation recovery efforts, even when the laws change in favor of victims’ rights.
Survivors of child sexual abuse should seek legal advice from an experienced attorney before accepting compensation or signing any agreements. Survivors have a right to compensation for medical and psychological costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, among others. Call us now.
The Catholic church is not the only institution that has been receiving attention over their widespread sexual abuse claims. Court documents regarding the Boy Scouts of America reveal that the organization may have had as many as 7,819 allegedly abusive troop leaders and volunteers and 12,254 alleged victims. Like the Catholic Church, they have also been secretive about releasing information to the the public about these alleged abuses but representatives have insisted that all of the cases have been reported to law enforcement.
Filing a court case does not undo the damages done by sexual abuse, but it can help to relieve the burden of moving forward. At the Mocco Law Group, we care not only about fairly representing our clients but also about respecting and understanding our clients’ emotional needs. We handle client cases with respect and we are mindful of the traumatic nature of these cases. Through gathering evidence and witness testimony, we promise to do our best in bringing a fair outcome to the clients we represent. We handle a wide variety of cases, not only involving religious organizations but also cases relating to private schools, sports leagues, summer camps, medical facilities, and more. Contact us today for a consultation with one of our trusted attorneys.