Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: August 21, 2018 06:12AM
One issue is that people feels they can't "prove" what happened to them because it was just the perpetrator and victim with no other people as witnesses, no cameras (hopefully), etc.
We all need to understand that our testimony is evidence. At the beginning stages of a complaint, you make an allegation. That allegation is supported by your testimony. There are many ways to support your allegation. For example, if you communicated what happened to another person, in a diary, in a text message, or any other type of communication, that is called a "contemporaneous record." That document or the person you talked to, is admissable as support for your testimony.
I have heard the word "hearsay" mentioned many times as if when something is hearsay it is bull. That is not what hearsay means. And there are approximately 34 different exceptions to the hearsay rule. Hearsay in its purest form, is not allowed in as testimony because it is considered unreliable. But if any one of the 34 exceptions is present, the hearsay gets in as reliable. The exceptions make it reliable.
I have heard hearsay spoken in a snearing voice from various pulpits. I believe that is just another intimidation tactic.
After an assault, people are traumatized and scared and often embarrassed. Coming forward is difficult and takes a lot of courage. If someone has a story to tell about sexual assault, abuse of power, intimidation against reporting sexual misconduct, anything along that line - in CALIFORNIA - I would suggest they call Gloria Allred. I'm not kidding. Her office is great. They will call you back right away. If they don't want to take your case, they can probably refer you to someone they trust and that would be a very good reference.
Sometimes people get scared away because maybe they have spoken to the wrong attorney. Unless an attorney is trained to bare knuckle fight in court, that attorney won't be the right one to help you. People need someone who knows what it takes not only to take a case to court, but to prepare for intense litigation and all that it entails. Your attorney should make you feel safe. There is no reason for the victim to feel re-victimized by the legal process if they have the right attorney fighting for them.
With the "Me Too" movement, the exposure of Catholic priests in PA (and everywhere), the focus on getting people free and healed up from cults (Time Magazine just reviewed 2 new novels about cults; Leah Remini's Scientology exposure show will start airing season 3 soon; People Investigates just did a series on cults) - NOW is the time for us to work together to put an end to clergy sexual abuse once and for all. If the church hides the abuse and let's the clergy person continue to get away with it, then the church needs to be destroyed as well as destroying the ability of the clergy abuser.
I was physically assaulted and badly injured about 2 years ago. I didn't report it because I didn't think anyone would believe me. I reported it a year later after a witness came forward who had heard the perpetrator bragging about trying to kill me. It is still in motion. I was terrified to report it and after I reported it I had some very rough days/weeks because it was scary and I was all alone. I obtained dozens of domestic violence restraining orders during my 25 years as a family law attorney. I was tough, smart, strong. I was still terrified.
No one on this forum has to be alone. If you don't want to post to the entire group, send a Private Message to whoever you feel you can identify with. There is help and there is hope.