Child sexual abuse is a despicable crime. It’s especially shocking and upsetting when a trusted member of society, such as a clergy member, takes advantage of a young girl or boy. Most people look up to these figures for religious and personal guidance. Unfortunately, priests and other individuals associated with the Catholic church have faced lawsuits for the sexual abuse of minors.
Sexual abuse can happen to anyone at any time. Children are the most vulnerable to these incidents. They’re often seen as weak and unable to defend themselves against an attack. Additionally, many children don’t report what happened because they fear their abuser will retaliate or that no one will believe them.
The Catholic church and its members should be held liable for sexual abuse and hiding allegations from the public. For many years, religious institutions have protected their own, giving abusers ongoing access to the victims. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse are fighting back against these institutions for the harm they suffered and holding multiple parties liable for their wrongdoing.
What Is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse occurs when someone forces or coerces another person into unwanted sexual acts. Abuse of this type doesn’t just involve physical activity. Sexual abuse can happen even if there isn’t any contact between the perpetrator and victim.
The most common types of sexual abuse include:
- Exposure of body parts to a child or forcing a child to undress
- Engaging in vaginal, anal, and oral sex
- Fondling a minor’s private parts
- Taking sexually explicit pictures or videos of a child
- Communicating by phone, through text, or via other digital means
- Forcing or coercing a child to view pornographic images or videos
- Touching oneself inappropriately or forcing the minor child to touch themselves
Individuals Liable for Childhood Sexual Abuse
A range of church members could be responsible for sexually abusing a child. These members include:
- Choir directors
- Sunday school teachers
- Youth leaders and volunteers
Unfortunately, these individuals can take advantage of their position within the church to intimidate children into unwanted sexual acts. Abuse can happen for years before anyone finds out or the child comes forward to admit what happened.
Young boys and girls often feel ashamed and hide the abuse they experienced until well into adulthood. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse can face the long-term effects of the incident and battle with depression, anxiety, and other psychological issues.
Compensation Available for Clergy Abuse
If you or your child suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a clergy member or another individual who was part of the Catholic church or another religious institution, you could recover compensation for your losses.
The losses you suffered might include:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
Seeking Justice Against the Catholic Church
You might be eligible to file a lawsuit against the individual or religious organization responsible for the sexual abuse you suffered as a child. Even if it happened decades ago, in some cases, you may still be eligible to file a lawsuit and bring the wrongdoer or their institution to justice.
Under normal circumstances, you would only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit for child sexual abuse, but many states have created new laws that allow victims to file as much as 40 years after the offenses occurred. Contact a compassionate lawyer from DeMayo Law Offices, LLP to discuss the possibilities in your case.
Contact DeMayo Law Offices, LLP Today
At DeMayo Law Offices, LLP, we understand how much childhood sexual abuse can affect a person’s life. It can impact someone’s mental health, overall happiness, personal relationships, and future. It’s often challenging for young girls and boys to process what happened to them at the hands of someone they thought they could trust. Most don’t know who to turn to after incidents like these. They might not feel ready to speak up about what they’ve been through until years or even decades later. Most child abuse victims don’t speak about their abuse until they’re in their 50s.
You can depend on our legal team to fight for you. We will review the circumstances of your case and create a legal strategy to meet your needs and try to achieve your desired outcome. The clergy member or organization responsible for the abuse should be held liable for failing to protect you or your child.
Call DeMayo Law Offices, LLP for a free consultation at (877) 333-1000 right now and let us help you pursue the compensation and justice you deserve.
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