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GUAM Pacific Daily News Joelle Casteix October 1, 2016 Survivors of sexual abuse on Guam are in a very powerful position. The new law protecting sex abuse victims is a watershed moment.Finally, survivors will be able to use the civil courts to seek accountability, justice and healing. The public will finally learn the true scope and scale of the cover-up.By coming forward, you are protecting the child who was hurt so many years ago. But when it comes to the legal system, crime victims have privacy rights. Understand that you need to be patient and that things won’t happen overnight.If you choose to file a lawsuit, you may do so as a John or Jane Doe so that the public, your employer, or your school never needs to know. You do not have to go through the decision-making or legal process alone. Talk to a therapist, supportive family and friends, and support groups like Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.
Together, we’ll let everyone know that love IS respect.As an advocate who has helped hundreds of other survivors, I understand the complex dynamics that many survivors face.If you are a survivor of child sexual abuse on Guam, here are some important factors to remember: * You are not hurting the church, your family, or your community by coming forward. If anyone tries to tell you that coming forward is wrong or shameful, walk away. Brave survivors like Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton, and Roland Sondia blazed a trail for you. Some civil window sex abuse cases have been completed in less than two years. Organizations fight long and hard to keep their secrets hidden.But before any of that can happen, victims need to come forward.
As a survivor who used a similar California law for justice, I know firsthand how terrifying the decision can be.
Every day local, state and federal officials make decisions that impact your life. Speak out and let the people who represent you know your opinion.