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New Funding for Pennsylvania Victims of Sexual Abuse



Beginning this week, Pennsylvanians who have suffered rape and never revealed it to police can apply for a portion of $5 million to pay for guidance.

“What we have seen with the #MeToo movement, what we have seen with all the unfortunate cases that have befallen Pennsylvania — whether it’s the Jerry Sandusky case, the Bill Cosby case, the [Catholic] Archdiocese … and now we’re seeing it also with the Jehovah’s Witnesses — what that’s doing is kind of stirring up all of these old wounds that have never come forward,” said Jennifer Storm, the commonwealth’s unfortunate casualty advocate.

The state has recently allocated funds accessible for victims of crime looking for guidance. Storm said the state chose to plan something that will address obstructions to treatment when it saw the Roman Catholic Church’s reaction to assault charges after the arrival of a noteworthy grand jury report that illustrated across the board ministry sexual assaults in six Pennsylvania archdioceses.

The Sexual Abuse Compensation Funds

The church survivor’s compensation funds that set cash aside for counseling made free treatment accessible for victims, and repaid casualties on the chance that they looked for private treatment before the funds were made accessible.

“You almost had this huge door that opened that enabled you to access funds and counseling that no other survivor in the commonwealth had,” said Storm.

That left different survivors pondering: What about me?

The $5 million put aside from the state’s general reserve takes out the requirement to document a police report and doesn’t have any statute of limitation.

Survivors who were assaulted before their eighteenth birthday celebration can get up to $10,000 for treatment. In the event that the abuse happened any time after age 18, victims can access up to $5,000 for treatment with a psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed professional advisor, or licensed social worker by filling out a Sexual Assault Counseling Claim form.

Pastor abuse survivors who got monetary assistance from the church’s compensation funds can likewise apply for the recently dispensed state funds.

Storm said the new funds will give assistance to the individuals who have not announced their abuses to law enforcement out of fear of not being believed. As per the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, known as RAINN, 3 out of 4 survivors don’t report their experiences — Maybe out of fear of reprisal or in light of the fact that they thought there was not enough to report.

“It is not the norm to have an assault and then immediately report it, go to the hospital, go to law enforcement,” said Storm. “That certainly does happen, but what we know is that that’s not the norm. The norm is that there’s usually a delayed disclosure.”

Philadelphia Sexual Abuse Attorneys

If you or someone you know has been sexual assaulted or abused, please contact our sexual abuse attorneys immediately by calling us at 215-462-3330 or by using our online contact form.

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