Behind every court document in a new wave of lawsuits hitting the Catholic church is a tragic human story.
Those stories are coming out across the state in the thousands, since a 2019 law opened a three-year window for child sex abuse victims to file new civil lawsuits, no matter when the alleged abuse occurred.
NBC Bay Area has interviewed dozens of new accusers and reviewed hundreds of recent lawsuits. Addiction, isolation, depression and jail are all common themes in the lives of those who say they suffered abuse.
For one such woman, who asked NBC Bay Area to keep her name confidential, it took her own paralysis to interrupt that vicious cycle.
“I lost my childhood,” Jane Doe said. “I never had one. It molded me for what I was for the rest of my life.”