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View Diary: Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivor Seeking Thoughts (34 comments)

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  •  Walk-in Counselling Center -- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Avilyn, sewaneepat

    -- URL is --

    http://www.walkin.org/....

    2421 Chicago Ave South
    Minneapolis, MN 55404
    P:  612-870-0565
    F:  612-870-4169

    My contact with the Center was in late 80's-early 90's, after I was sexually abused (as an adult) by the therapist I had reached out to for help with issues arising from my childhood sexual abuse.  All my contact was by phone with Gary Schoener, who willingly spent many hours on the phone with me at no cost to me. (grschoener@walkin.org)

    If you haven't talked to these folks yet, I URGE you to contact them and let them be a sounding board for your current decision process.

    They have been leaders in the field for decades now, and will help you focus on what's best for YOU.

    Best wishes

    •  Thank you... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avilyn, Catte Nappe, CroneWit

      Thank you for your comments and thoughts. I can try to answer your questions as best I can. I do have another appt. in the morning with another firm and will get yet more answers then.

      Rape is indeed a physical injury as would be any other sort of sexual assault but my problem is it having been a very long time ago I’d have to move into “proving it” territory in order to claim that. But that’s just a tax issue. I can wrestle with and settle the tax concern when I have to. I do honestly believe that if I insisted the offer be raised to such an amount as to cover my tax obligation to retain a net $50,000 number they would agree to that as otherwise larger number may (or may not) be on the other side of some longer process. Truth be told, they want me to go away, I’ve not doubt. That smallish increase is a very small amount to them.

      No gag order has been mentioned and so I will need to find out if they intend to make that a condition. If so, I seriously would consider not taking it. It’s not worth it to limit myself in talking, publicly or otherwise, about my own experience. I own it and it’s not for sale. There are a whole lot of “control” type issue in sexual abuse and feeling someone is taking from me my ability to speak of it is not something worth a price. I also would not like to limit my ability, as you say, to offer assistance to other who may benefit from my experience.

      I am told by the attorneys with whom I have spoken that despite the very large a settlement amounts you hear about in the news, this $50,000 number is very average and not unusual. It’s what a person might expect and so I am at least in the area. It’s almost a matter of course for these institions which is very sad. And as I mentioned previously, this same Order settled for a very large number with a young man only a few years back but his case a very fresh compared to mine. I think they are well aware of my level of legal threat and so I am wary of pursuing more and more as the amount I have been offered would be very helpful to a damaged family.

      I will absolutely look toward the organization you mentioned and see if they have some guidance to offer. Resources are much appreciated. I have been told again and again that there is no legal case to be made anymore and so it feels very much that I am jousting all alone with a very large entity. So information that helps in my jousting is much appreciated.

      •  I am very, very glad -- (0+ / 0-)

        -- that you know that your own your life.  And that you know how valuable owning your own story is.

        I really, really, hope you will call GaryS.  If you had told me this story while sitting in my house, I would have dialed the number and handed you the phone.  Even if you end up talking to (eventually) another staff member, this is ONE place where they WILL UNDERSTAND the complexity of this kind of trauma.

        There are ways (imo) that this decision-point is yet another re-traumatization for you (& family).   It seems to me that the lawyers are advising you appropriately as lawyers -- the chances of winning the case, the likely amount of damages.  However, this legal-only advice cannot address the depth and impact of this decision on you.
        '
        It's this kind of support that the Walk-in people can offer.  I really hope you'll call them.  If it would help, I'd be willing to make a 'real world' contact with Gary S for you -- send me a Kosmail message if you want me to do that.  (But be aware that my Internet availability is intermittent, so don't be dismayed if I am delayed in responding.)

        One question in my mind re the 'do I go forward with a legal case' part of your decision:  If you did so, what would be your definition of 'winning'?  And a follow-up question would be, 'would 'winning' be worth the cost, not just monetarily, but in terms of, well, of re-victimization as part of the process?  And a third question would be, 'is a court case your best venue to accomplish what you define as 'winning'?

        You don't have to answer those questions to me, here.  I just have to ask them.  And these are the kinds of questions the Walk-in people could help you work through.

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