A recent news article discusses the findings of a study showing women who have experienced sexual violence are more likely to develop disruptions to blood flow in the brain.
The study found that women who experience sexual violence might face more than the physical injuries sustained during the attack and other known mental health consequences like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or depression. They may also have a higher risk of a certain type of brain disease that's a precursor for dementia and stroke.
This research has important implications for women's overall health and identifying early warning signs of stroke and dementia. Women who have been sexually traumatized are encouraged to share this information with their health care providers.
Today, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols, gave gut-wrenching testimony during a Senate Judiciary hearing about the FBI’s complete failure in handling the Larry Nassar investigation. According to the Washington Post, at least 40 girls and women said they were molested after the FBI had been made aware of allegations against Nassar in 2015.
McKayla Maroney said, “I think for so long all of us questioned, just because someone else wasn’t fully validating us, that we doubted what happened to us. And I think that makes the healing process take longer."
While this case caught the world's attention, the troubling reality is that child sexual abuse victims in our community are too often ignored, discredited, and blamed when they report abuse or reach out for help from individuals and institutions. Hearing these strong women speak out about how hard it was to come forward and the abhorrent response they received when they did speak up is heartbreaking. We must do better. When individuals' and institutions' actions and inaction enable perpetrators, they must be held responsible criminally and civilly.
“If you allow a predator to harm children, the consequences will be swift and severe. Enough is enough,” stated Simone Biles.
Stopping child abuse is everyone's responsibility. If you suspect a child is being sexual abused, make a report immediately: 1-800-392-3738 Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
Tort Victim Compensation Fund Offers Opportunities for Victims of Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence to Obtain Financial Compensation
The Tort Victim Compensation Fund (TVCF) was established in 1987 to provide compensation to individuals who have been injured but have been unable to collect on their personal injury or wrongful death judgments because the tortfeasor had no insurance coverage or other funds to pay the judgment. The TVCF is funded by punitive damage awards in civil case but it has been underfunded since its creation. In the last few years, payouts have been only $0.34 to $0.44 on the dollar for a judgment and the total available in the fund each year has ranged from $2 million to $5 million. This year, however, after a $2.1 billion judgment against Johnson & Johnson became final, $480 million dollars from the punitive damages award was paid into this fund.
This is an incredible opportunity for crime victims to access much deserved financial compensation. The maximum amount paid out on any judgment through the TVCF is $300,000. While in many cases, this is not nearly enough for the horrors a victim has endured, it is substantial enough to help victims begin to heal and rebuild their lives.
Victims who have traditionally been left behind due to the perpetrators not having money, now have a mechanism to seek compensation. Victims in child and adult sex cases (or any violent crimes) where a defendant is sentenced to an extended period of time in the DOC might be eligible to recover through the TVCF. A final civil judgment generally must still be obtained prior to making a TVCF claim. Strict statute of limitation apply to civil clams.
Contact Donelan Law, LLC to find out your legal options.