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Albuquerque Sexual Abuse Legal Blog

New Mexico, other states escalate probes into Church misconduct

Recent media accounts across the country note that, while legions of Catholic priests have been individually targeted in sexual abuse cases, higher-ranking Church officials largely escape close scrutiny in such probes.

That now appears to be changing, offering material hope to abuse victims who have long believed that a full account of wrongdoing might be forever elusive.

Boy Scouts considers bankruptcy amid sex abuse lawsuits

When parents enroll their children in youth organizations or religious organizations, they place their trust in the institutions and the adults chosen to lead them. Unfortunately, in a number of youth programs, that trust turned out to be horribly misplaced. One of the leading examples may be the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), which has long been accused of covering up sexual abuse of children by adult leaders and volunteers.

In recent years, as lawsuits and criminal investigations have forced the BSA to open up its private records, the public has learned just how widespread and horrifying the pattern of sexual abuse has been. According to recent news reports, the sheer number of lawsuits pending against the BSA is causing the organization to consider filing for bankruptcy.

Lawsuit alleges pattern of racism at San Francisco PD

The San Francisco Police Department, the once-head of its officer’s union and a department commander are now the subjects of a $2.5 million lawsuit alleging racial harassment and discrimination.The suit was filed on May 30 by Yulanda Williams, an acting police captain with nearly 30 years on the city’s force. She has long been the president of an organization of African American SFPD officers.

A guide to reporting sexual harassment at work

Experiencing sexual harassment in your Albuquerque workplace can be terrifying and demoralizing. Whether you are the target of inappropriate comments or actions from a supervisor, colleague, customer or more, you may feel flustered and unsure of how to move forward from here.

Reporting sexual harassment can be confusing. In your shock, anger, embarrassment or more following the incident, you may either attempt to cover up what happened or act without fully considering your options. Whether the harassment was a one-time incident or has turned into a pattern of offensive behavior, consider the following options to take action:

Controversy continues over statute-of-limitation suspensions

In our last post, we discussed an important legal hurdle that often prevents sex abuse victims from pursuing legal action against their abusers and the institutions that allowed abuse to happen. The civil statute of limitations caps the amount of time that victims have to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for the harms they suffered. But because sex abuse can be so traumatic (especially when suffered as a child), it often takes decades for victims to come forward about the abuse – well after the statute of limitations has expired.

Each state sets its own statutes of limitation (SOL). For many types of harms (like car accidents), the SOL is often around two years. But in response to growing awareness about the long-term damage of sexual abuse, many states have increased SOLs in sex abuse cases or passed legislation to temporarily remove SOLs so that victims could seek justice years or decades later.

States reexamining statutes of limitation for sex abuse victims

When one has suffered a psychological trauma, it can take a long time before the victim is ready to talk about it. This is especially true of traumas suffered during the formative years of childhood. Among victims of childhood sexual abuse, for instance, the average age that victims come forward to tell their story is 52 years old. That’s the better part of a lifetime spent holding on to shame and guilt that rightfully belongs to the perpetrator – not the victim.

It is important to let survivors come forward on their own timeline, but waiting too long can limit a person’s legal options. This is because of the statute of limitations, which is a cap on how much time a victim has to file a lawsuit against his or her abuser and/or a third party. There is also a criminal statute of limitations, which protects the abuser from being prosecuted for a crime after a certain amount of time has passed.

More women entering male-dominated jobs

The economy is strong and job opportunities are growing — but the industries experiencing the most significant expansion are those which traditionally employ males. The construction industry, for example, is booming. Bidding is competitive, and many large construction companies are opting out of bidding on new jobs because they have too much work to do.

Amid these headlines about job growth and economic success are facts and figures that reveal that more women are entering these male-dominated industries. On the surface, this sounds like good news. But in reality, women are facing a challenging climate as they strive to be taken as serious professionals in a workplace where they are surrounded by men.

Sexual harassment in the male-dominated world of medicine

The wake of the #MeToo movement encouraged women all over the country to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment. Recently, a California-based surgeon called out the prevalence of sexual harassment in the medical world, drawing from her own experiences as a young female resident several years ago. She explained that she was one of many female professionals who often faced unwanted advances from her male superiors. When asked about how she responded to those incidents, the former resident spoke about how the nature of the medical field can make it difficult to tackle sexual harassment. Some factors of the medical world that may threaten the civil rights of its female professionals include:

The struggle women of color face when reporting sexual harassment

The wake of the #MeToo movement this past year encouraged many women across the country to speak up about their experiences with sexual harassment. Many came forward through viral social media posts as other women responded to them with heartfelt comments of affirmation.

Despite the movement's seeming success in empowering women to share their stories, many have pointed out that it may also be marginalizing the voices of women of color. An African American woman who recently went public with her experience of workplace sexual harassment explained that she only felt motivated to do so because her employer had disregarded the report she had filed. This sparked a discussion on how women of color, especially those of the working class, may struggle to find avenues to speak up.

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