As reported on recently in both VTDigger and The Brattleboro Reformer, a long history of allegations of sexual abuse at The Kurn Hattin Homes for Children in Westminster, Vermont has been brought to light. Beginning as early as the 1940s and continuing into the 2010s, a large number of former students at the school for boys and girls who are affected by tragedy, social or economic hardship, or other disruption in family life, have spoken up and commenced lawsuits against the school seeking both a public apology and financial compensation for the hardships that they have had to endure at the school.
The school recently surrendered its license to operate as a residential treatment program following a finding by the Vermont Department for Children and Families that the facilities’ culture of abuse was “pervasive”.
For the survivors of sexual assault and abuse, the scars of the experience can remain with them for the remainder of their lives, with heart breaking results. Many sexual abuse survivors experience high rates of alcoholism, drug overdose, PTSD, suicide and other health ailments. These issues can cause survivors strain maintaining work, their friendships and having healthy family relationships.
In response to the MeToo movement and the increased attention and appreciation given to victims of sexual abuse, Vermont became the first state in the nation to remove the statute of limitations barrier to those seeking to bring claims for compensation against the people and institutions who have caused them such pain. The bill signed into law eliminated the previous six-year statute of limitations for civil child sexual abuse cases and now allows many victims, including those of Kurn Hattin, to bring claims for attacks that occurred many years in the past.
The legislation is particularly important as many survivors of childhood sexual abuse do not speak up about their attackers for many years after the incidents occur. Previously, many victims were unable to bring an action within the 6 year period as they were often coerced into silence by their predators, were too young and felt too ashamed by what had happened to speak up, or failed to find an advocate willing to assist them in their quest for justice.
Our team has built a reputation for compassionate and fierce advocacy on behalf of our clients. We have helped numerous victims recover both economic and moral compensation from those responsible for their hardships. If you or someone you know has been the victim of assault or abuse, including past students at Kurn Hattin, you can reach Kramer Law by calling a 802-257-2221 or using our quick and easy contact form.
As our client, we will take care of all of the legal, privacy and insurance related issues surrounding your case so that you are able to recover and work towards a brighter and better future.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.