In a January, 2023 article for online magazine Slate, journalist and podcast host, Mary Harris, interviews New York victim’s rights lawyer, Carrie Goldberg.
“… (J)ust because you’re the victim of a crime doesn’t mean you owe society that much more of yourself. You’ve already paid through what happened to you. That wasn’t your choice. I reject that kind of judgmental perspective. And I really stand by the idea that wrongdoers have to pay and that in our society, money’s how they do it.”Slate, Jan 14, 2023 https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2023/01/adult-survivors-act-new-york-sexual-assault-carrie-goldberg.html
A recent change in New York criminal law, the Adult Survivor’s Act is allowing victims a “Look-Back window” to present their evidence and face their attackers in court. The tragedy of violent crime had been handcuffed to laws limiting the amount of time a victim has, to heal, rally, then bring suit against their attacker. By the time the victim can ask for help, the length of time allowed to find a lawyer and file suit’s often expired. It’s a cruel system, serving to increase the damage done to the attacked, by the attacker.
Harris and Goldberg have a longer discussion in Harris’ “What Next” Podcast:
“…(T)his is not going to be a Pollyanna experience, where at the end of it, you’re going to feel that justice was served in this simple way. Litigation is, you know, in my opinion, the greatest equalizer in our society when it’s working… Both sides will experience pain during litigation. And any attorney that is taking these cases sure as heck better be explaining that to their clients.”“What Next” Transcript “
Lawyers love to wind people up, and widen the gap between opposing parties. It’s how they maximize their profits. But, what’s it like to have a lawyer who’ll say this, because it’s their lived truth?
“And these cases really are about, you know, taking that trauma out of the backpack and flinging some of it back on to the perpetrator and saying, like, I shouldn’t have to be carrying this burden alone. Like you’re the one who did this to me. You didn’t even know me, but you did this to me. You fucked up my life, and I’ve been carrying that around. And now I want you to feel the hell. And the fear of. Of being held accountable and having a public lawsuit against you.”
Make a body want to call, methinks.