Pressing Charges

As to thine action against the journal which hath libeled thee: It is not at all best to bring action against them, because there is no profit in doing that; nay, it will lead to more sayings of a similar nature. Under these circumstances silence is best. Thou must not be disappointed, sorry or grieved thereat; God will remove all these difficulties. If thou wilt employ thyself in the service (of the Cause of God) the past losses will be recovered and all the troubles will be settled. This is the manifest truth.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 158-159

At this time there appears to be no substantial reason why you should press charges against your adoptive father, grievous as has been his misuse of your childhood. There seems to be little hazard to any other person from this behaviour pattern.

From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 22 December, 1981

In general, if a Bahá’í believes that he or she has been illegally treated or has a legal claim that cannot be resolved in another way, the individual would, of course, be free to seek any remedies available under the law. Similarly, if other channels for addressing grievances are available, such as you have mentioned, a Bahá’í would also be free to take action if he or she felt it was warranted. Whether to do so in any given situation, however, is left to the discretion of the individual, and you are encouraged to seek legal advice and to consult with family and friends whose judgement you trust.

Universal House of Justice to an individual, 4 December 2016

You enquire whether you should take action to have your parents charged with murder, following the death of your brother. You should ascertain from a competent lawyer what are your legal obligations in this regard, and follow such requirements. If there is no legal obligation, it is left to your discretion to decide on this matter, in light of the circumstances However, you might well ask yourself, in the course of this decision-making, what beneficial result is to be gained from such an action, more especially if the action occurred some years ago and if legally-acceptable proof is difficult to establish; you should also weigh carefully the effect this might have on yourself, in the process of re-opening the subject, testifying about it in court, and doubtless incurring the antagonism of your parents.

The Universal House of Justice, 1985 Dec 02, Child Abuse, Psychology and Knowledge of Self