Sexual abuse and assault cases can happen to anyone at any age. Survivors of abuse can go years before realizing they were a victim of sexual abuse, especially when their abuser is in a position of authority. Clergy sexual abuse occurs at the hands of a religious leader, or member of the Church, and is a basis for victims to pursue civil justice.
Regardless of when the abuse took place, survivors have the right to stand up to not just their attackers, but also the institutions that have protected and or enabled the abuse. If you were the victim of clergy sexual abuse, our clergy sexual abuse attorneys are here to protect you and help you seek compensation for your pain and suffering.
What is Considered Clergy Sex Abuse?
Clergy sex abuse is committed by a member of the Catholic Church on a minor child. This can include a priest, monsignor, deacon or bishop although victims have also been abused by members not considered clergy such as brothers, nuns, and cardinals. There are many forms of sexual abuse of a minor which does not necessarily have to be physical. Sexual abuse can include:
- The clergy exposing themselves
- Inappropriate fondling
- Sexual intercourse
- Clergy masturbating in front of the minor or forcing the minor to masturbate for them
- Phone calls, text messages, or digital interaction of a sexual nature
- Sharing pornographic images/movies of children with a child
- Vaginal, oral, or anal sex with a minor
- Sex trafficking of a minor
If you experience sexual conduct as a child that proved harmful to your mental, emotional, or physical welfare, you experienced clergy sexual abuse.
How Does Clergy Sexual Abuse Occur?
Abusers use their position and religious authority to perform their crimes. They understand how powerful their positions seem to an innocent child (or even adult) and use that power to coerce, exploit, or sexually abuse their victims. In the case of clergy sexual abuse, however, there is an additional component involving the Catholic Church itself. They share accountability in many cases because they failed to stop known pedophile clergy and even helped cover up incidents.
How a Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorney Can Help
One of the first places you can turn to for assistance is to speak to a clergy sexual abuse attorney. They can help you find the help you need and overcome the mental challenges, feelings of guilt and shame, PTSD, and other serious, life-altering mental health conditions you have been forced to live with for years. Although the thought of speaking to anyone about your experiences can be intimidating, an attorney will support you and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve as a survivor.
It all starts with the first call that will provide you with immediate compassion and set you on the path to restitution. This is not just about money, but instead about healing. Although winning your case won’t change what happened, it will provide you with the funds needed to heal from your abuse, and lead a happier life.
If you are a victim of clergy sexual abuse, the experts at Malley law firm understand the emotional sensitivities of your case. Speak to our clergy abuse and attorney for sexual harassment by a clergy today to learn how we can help.