A common impediment to recovering money for victims of sexual abuse or other violent crimes is that a perpetrator may not have money or assets. The Tort Victim Compensation Fund (TVCF) was established in 1987 to provide compensation to individuals who have been injured but have been unable to collect on their personal injury or wrongful death judgments because the tortfeasor had no insurance coverage or other funds to pay the judgment. The TVCF is funded by punitive damage awards in civil case but it has been underfunded since its creation. In the last few years, payouts have been only $0.34 to $0.44 on the dollar for a judgment and the total available in the fund each year has ranged from $2 million to $5 million. T his year, however, after a $2.1 billion judgment against Johnson & Johnson became final, $480 million dollars from the punitive damages award was paid into this fund. This is an incredible opportunity for crime victims to access much deserved financial
T oday, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols, gave gut-wrenching testimony during a Senate Judiciary hearing about the FBI’s complete failure in handling the Larry Nassar investigation. According to the Washington Post , a t least 40 girls and women said they were molested after the FBI had been made aware of allegations against Nassar in 2015. McKayla Maroney said, “I think for so long all of us questioned, just because someone else wasn’t fully validating us, that we doubted what happened to us. And I think that makes the healing process take longer." While this case caught the world's attention, the troubling reality is that child sexual abuse victims in our community are too often ignored, discredited, and blamed when they report abuse or reach out for help from individuals and institutions. Hearing these strong women speak out about how hard it was to come forward and the abhorrent response they received when they did speak up is heartbreaking.