NDA’s are complicated little ditties to the average uninformed and overwhelmed victim.
As Dr. Scott McKnight so well noted in a recent article on NDA’s, the weaker party is the victim.
Of course it is the victim.
Abuse of power is always an imbalance of power.
Fact: By the time victims get to the NDA stage, usually they have been dragged through hell and back. The legal process presents a veritable traumatic merry-go-round, complete with evil clowns and financial loss through limitless legal costs. Add in the well-played instrument of fear, this is nothing short of disorienting, if not despairing for victims of clergy malfeasance (sex, money or spiritual abuse).
The Demandee has already been overwhelmed by the Demander… the power dynamic did not ever change. The victim is often coerced, if not with words, then with the overwhelming reality that the balance of power was and remains in the hands of the powerful offender.
In most states, provinces, and territories in North America, clerics remain free to wield their power with little legal restraint. Clergy sexual, monetary, and spiritual abuse of an adult is not a criminal offense therefore lends it to civil, rather than criminal proceedings. Combine this with the naive trust that clerics enjoy, victims often are faced with the “choice less choice” of signing an NDA.
NDA’s pay for silence.
“Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.” – Elie Wiesel
Indeed we must.