Speaking up about sexual abuse is not an easy thing to do – especially for children. Being the victim of sexual abuse by an adult often carries feels of guilt or shame that can be hard to overcome. Sadly, sometimes those who do find the strength to tell someone they trust about instances of abuse are met by skepticism or otherwise negative reactions.
A recent lawsuit highlights this unfortunate reality for some survivors of abuse. Fortunately, it also highlights the fact that justice is possible even under these circumstances.
Teen reported abuse at a broadcasting network
In 2006, a 13-year-old girl told her family, including her grandmother that she was sexually assaulted by a 30-year-old man in a hotel room during an event for Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). The man worked for TBN – the network her grandmother co-founded.
According to the lawsuit, the grandmother blamed the child, fired the man involved and did not report the abuse to authorities. Because the grandmother is a minister, she is required to report instances of child abuse under California law.
Lawsuit Filed Against TBN
In 2012, the victim filed a lawsuit against TBN, alleging that the network covered up the abuse. Recently, a jury in Orange County awarded the victim $2 million. A judge then confirmed in a ruling that TBN was responsible for paying the full amount.
Justice is possible for survivors
This case shows that it is possible for survivors of sexual assault or abuse to achieve justice. However, taking steps toward filing a lawsuit is not easy to do alone. It is important to know that you don’t have to. There are people who are ready to listen to your story, even if those closest to you are not. Victim advocates, sexual abuse lawyers and others can assist you in seeking help and justice in a way that is comfortable for you.