A newly released film titled “Spotlight” focuses on the story of some Boston Globe journalists who uncovered the cover-up of sexual abuse of boys by a priest within the Roman Catholic Church. When the stories by the Boston Globe and other media outlets exposed the sexual abuse by priests and cover ups that allowed them to continue their heinous behavior, it caused a huge uproar worldwide. Those issues are still lingering today. The cast of the highly touted film include top notch actors like Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton, John Slattery and Stanley Tucci.
The effects of the Catholic Sex Abuse scandal have been wide-ranging and ongoing for decades. Sex Abuse alone is a huge issue, but combined with religion can cause a huge explosion. That is exactly what happened in the 1990s and 2000s. Once the victims were able to tell their stories, the floodgates opened and pretty soon Catholic dioceses from all over the world were dealing with similar allegations of sex abuse by priests and the cover up of those crimes by church officials. Many of the victims have pursued litigation against the church and sought compensation by the church for the crimes committed against them. It has been reported that the sex abuse scandal has cost the United States Catholic Church nearly $3 billion. It has also been reported there are an estimated 100,000 sex abuse victims in the United States alone. After the Catholic Sex Abuse scandal was exposed, Protestant, Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish communities have had to deal with sex abuse scandals of their own.
As victims tell their stories to the general public, their advocates continue to push for justice in the courtroom. On behalf of their victims, they are making the case in court that the kind of long standing abuse the victims have suffered deserves justice and compensation. Many of the victims have been living with the mental, physical, and emotional scars their entire lives. Plaintiff attorneys have been able to make that case in court which has led to millions of dollars in settlements compensation. Even though there have been numerous settlements over the Catholic Sex Abuse issue, there are still many more cases working their way through the court system. There are probably some that have yet to be filed on behalf of other victims who are just now telling their story. In these kinds of cases, it is important that the plaintiffs’ attorneys are prepared for the long timeline and expenses that come with litigating sex abuse cases within religious institutions. Resolution of these cases can take a long time and even after a settlement is reached or a verdict is handed down, compensation can still take a long time before it is distributed.
Photo Credit: Bertknot
Photo Name: Holy Cross Catholic Church Redcliffe