The Child Victims Act has allowed victims of sexual abuse to seek compensation as long as 30 years past the time of their abuse. The new act doubles the former 15 years allowed, offering more leeway for child sexual abuse victims to come forward. Although this isn’t as big a change as some states such as New York and California which completely removed the timetable, victims of abuse can now have more time to seek damages, including those naming Catholic clergy members as their abusers.
Seeking Damages Against the Catholic Church
With growing numbers of cases against Catholic priests, victims can successfully seek damages from the diocese and parishes where the abuse happened. The new Act allows those who were too overwhelmed or uncertain about their cases to extend the timing and decide to pursue litigation that could earn them a settlement that helps them deal with their pain. Because of the exposure of the Catholic Church’s cover-up of sexual abuse within their church, settlements with the diocese involved are becoming prevalent.
Also, in 2019 the Texas Roman Catholic Church was compelled to release the names of more than 300 priests accused of sexual abuse going back almost eight decades. The priests involved were considered to be related to credible cases.
What To Do as a Victim
As a victim of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church, you should speak to a clergy sexual abuse attorney when you feel able. It is likely they will find you do have grounds to sue as a victim of the clergy. Victims can seek retribution for physical and mental abuse and the mental suffering that resulted following the assault(s).
The church has a duty to adequately supervise its members. In the case of sexual abuse, the church has been forced to face its role and the negligence that allowed clergy to commit sexual abuse on congregants. Legal claims filed against the church as well as institutions that it falls under have been targeted in lawsuits. Common injuries victims can sue for include:
- Anxiety and depression
- PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- Flashbacks of the abuse
- Sexually Transmitted Infections
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Eating and sleeping disorders
- Suicide attempts
- Sexual Dysfunction
These are just a few examples of the aftereffects victims are forced to live with every day.
Waiting is Common
If you feel you have waited too long or lived with the suffering for so long already it is not worth pursuing, keep in mind most sexual abuse victims don’t speak up for years. Whether it was a year, 10 years, 20 years or 30 years, you can find justice with the assistance of a clergy sexual abuse attorney. They will work hard to get you the settlement you deserve. You have a right to compensation and can use the funds to help overcome your mental suffering and live a more productive, happier life.