Five years ago, John Doe RG contacted our law firm seeking help. He had been sexually abused by Fr. Harry Monroe, at the time, an unknown Catholic priest/perpetrator in Indianapolis, Indiana. RG was the first to publicly expose Fr. Monroe’s abuse and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’ concealment of that abuse. Fourteen more boys followed in bringing lawsuits.
Last week, RG settled his lawsuit and one of the questions is whether this is the end of this chapter in his life, or just the beginning. One thing for sure is that RG cannot change the fact that he was sexually abused by his priest. He cannot change the fact that the Archdiocese of Indianapolis failed him and his family. What does he do now? This is a common experience for sexual abuse victims/survivors. There comes a time when the person moves from being a victim of sexual abuse to a place where he or she becomes a survivor of sexual abuse. Interestingly, this moment is often related to court proceedings relating to the sexual abuse. This moment is when the survivor begins to look forward in his or her life more than he or she looks backward at what happened. It is truly the beginning of recovery from the pain related to child sexual abuse.
I think that RG has come to this place. Nothing brings me more satisfaction in this cause than watching my clients make the transition from victim to survivor. I am extremely proud of RG. It is these moments that convince me that I am prospering more from this cause than anyone else.
About the Author: Patrick Noaker is the Senior Litigation Attorney at the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates who handles cases involving child sexual abuse, exploitation and pornography.