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Compensation for Sexual Abuse
Here is some journal writing I did today, June 22, 2011 (around 4 in the morning)
In the US legal system they have something like compensatory and punitive something or other. It means the amount of money a judge or jury decides to give someone or take from someone else.
Let's say that Garnier admitted what he did. My first question regarding compensation would be how much compensation does he owe me? If he wrecked my 200 dollar bike, it is reasonable that he would owe me 200 to replace it. But how much am I worth? How much damage did he do to me?
Let's say I am worth 10 million dollars- the amount of money I could get by being a famous author for example, or a "successful" businessman.
But because of what he did, I was only able to make 1 million. Would he owe me 9 million? What if he doesn't have 9 million?
What if his insurance company doesn't have it? Although, an insurance company in the USA would.
How would I feel if he paid me nothing out of his own pocket? In other words, if his insurance company "settled the claim" as they say.
I wouldn't feel as good as if he paid me out of his own money. I do feel resentful he is probably living a pretty comfortable life, financially at least. He probably has a nice salary or pension from Indiana University, almost surely over 100,000 US dollars per year. His house is probably paid for. So financially he is probably a lot more comfortable than I am these days.
Emotionally I don't know. Maybe he has been divorced two or three times. Maybe his new or latest partner is a man. A younger man - also interested in sociology perhaps. Maybe it is someone he met on one of his trips to Africa. Maybe Garnier isn't even alive anymore. Maybe he got Aids in Africa and died.
I doubt that he has tried to kill himself, or that he feels suicidal nearly everyday. I doubt that he is in the kind of pain I am in other words.
I realized a little while ago that I am once again living in a trailer. This time more by necessity than by choice. When I first wrote about Maurice I was living in my trailer in Canada. But that was a summer vacation home more than anything else. This is our only home now. Back then I wasn't stressed about money. Now I am.
So I am wondering am I "owed" anything from Maurice? If so, how much and who would decide how much? What is the market value for my mind, my feelings, my potential? It is not as easy to pin a number on as for a bicycle.
I feel sad now. Near tears. I have cried so much. How much of it was connected to the abuse? It is still hard for me to see myself as a "victim" of sexual or emotional abuse.
Thinking about intimidation now. Maurice never directly intimidated me. He never said anything like, "Don't tell anyone about this or I could lose my job." But the situation intimidated me by itself I guess. I knew it was totally wrong for him to be at my dormitory window and then door. I won't say "inappropriate" because I don't like that word and how it is used. But I will say it was wrong. How did I know it was wrong? No one taught me. But I felt it.
Back then, no one was giving talks on sexual abuse. No one said, "If a professor comes to your dormitory, report it immediately" for example. I was on my own. Like one of the teenage girls is now on her own. "I let him in." Those are the words she said to me when I asked how her abuser was getting in the house.
Once I let Garnier in, he had me. He had me trapped, cornered.
Punitive - I don't like the punishment system so I wouldn't want him to pay punitive damages. But I would like to see him admit that he sexually abused me and put it on his website or something. Do something to help others - like say "The reason I sexually abused people was.... " I don't have time to write more on this now.
Another issue is standing up for myself. Taking back what was taking from me, or getting it back with the help of others... but I will need to write more about that later.
Note -- this writing began when I was writing in my June 22, 2011 journal --- june22_11.htm
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