As disturbing as it may sound, many children and young adults become victims of sexual abuse within their religious house of worship. Often times, the abuse comes from the very people the victim trusts. Sexual abuse within the clergy, priesthood, and religious settings is not a new concept. Several cases of child sexual abuse crimes were committed in the 20th and 21st centuries by Catholic priests, nuns, and members of the Roman Catholic orders. These cases led to numerous allegations, investigations, trials, and convictions over time.
A History of Clergy Abuse
Another surprising fact about these sexual abuse crime cases is that the victims include boys and girls, some as young as 3 years old, while others are between the ages of 11 and 14 years. Many times, these cases are shuffled under the carpet by the church, but in the 1980s, quite a few of these cases started seeing the light of day. Most cases involved a figure which was accused of abuse for decades. The allegations were frequently made by older youths and adults after the abuse occurred.
The greatest challenge faced by victims of clergy sexual abuse is the courage required to come forward after being victimized. It is even more difficult if the abuse was at the hands of someone at a powerful position in a powerful organization, such as the Catholic Church, Church of Latter Day Saints, Baptists, Mormons, or someone else. However, it is the legal right of victims to be compensated for the suffering they have endured as a result of clergy abuse. Whether the abuse incident happened decades ago, or recently, the person should not have to live with the agony of being a victim to have to survive in this world.
Civil Litigation Against Religious Organizations Offers Victims Some Recompense
Today, law firms use civil litigation to seek justice for survivors of child sexual abuse as well as survivors of clergy sexual abuse. These cases are filed against churches and other institutions and are dedicated to protecting the rights of children who have been sexually violated by pastors, preachers, evangelists, youth ministers, music leaders, assistant pastors, clergy, or priests, as well as other employees of the church.
An experienced clergy abuse attorney will help put together every aspect of the child’s life back together. Most of these cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means that no attorney fees is paid unless compensation is obtained. The attorney will help pursue the justice which is deserved, both by the victim, as well as the victim’s family.
An experienced attorney can help give the victim an opportunity to confront the perpetrator, and exert power over the person who abused them. Most of these cases sue for the emotional or financial damages caused by the abuse, such as lost wages or money spent on therapy after being a victim of sexual abuse. Most victims of clergy sexual abuse also try to protect other children from the same abuser and seek professional help to achieve their goal. If you feel you may have a valid case, contact an experienced attorney to file a clergy sexual abuse lawsuit.