I’ve gotten a number of inquiries over the last few days from victims of child sex abuse.
The victims wish to pursue a civil case for money damages against the perpetrator, as is their legal right. After all, the psychological damages caused by the cancerous evil of child abuse surely qualify as personal injuries. It doesn’t get more personal than that, and often times the emotional scars last a life-time.
It has always interested me to hear the victims say the abuser is ” sick.” I understand what they are saying, but I have a different take — one I learned many years ago when I had the privilege to work on a case with the country’s fore-most child advocate, Andrew Vachss, esq.
Vachss has given his life as a lawyer and author of many books on child abuse for the cause of protecting children. He’s given talks around the globe on the topic, and nobody comes close to matching his credentials.
While it is “sick” for an adult to desire sex with a child, the act is “evil.” Those who carry out the vile crimes are, therefore, not sick people; they are evil.
The difference is crucial.
The bad thoughts are one thing– sick. The act is another thing– evil.
Calling the abusers sick does not do justice to the reality. Abusers want society to think they are sick, because sick people eventually get better. It is misdirected, and gives them unwarranted sympathy.
Child abusers are sociopaths. These people are not able to empathize with others. The only pain they feel is their own. Their focus is ego-centric ( self centered), so it’s easy for them to ask, not for forgiveness, but for leniency.
Sick people are, and need to be, treated differently than evil people.
In effect, the child abuser wants everyone to believe that if they take a few aspirin and get enough sleep, they’ll be all better. The idea of jail time does that to criminals.
Don’t buy it!
Over the years as a personal injury attorney, I’ve represented many victims of sex abuse in civil cases against abusers and organizations. It is gut-wrenching stuff, for sure.
Generally speaking, insurance does not cover the abuser because of the intentional nature of the criminal activity. Unless the abuser has financial means, it can be tough for victims to recover monetary damages.
However, it is always worth consulting with an injury lawyer just to be sure. Often times insurance will come into play if the abuser was in the scope of his work or involvement with an organization.
Just a few thoughts…
injury/ accident/ personal injury law
Keene, New Hampshire