If You Are One Who Chooses to Fight against Church Sexual Abuse, There Are Many Taking the Legal Route and Getting Assistance and Justice. Regain Your Confidence and Restore Your Lost Faith by Standing for Yourself.
By Addie Davison
December 16, 2020
The Catholic Church has suffered an epidemic of misconduct. A study by the University of Chicago found that over 100,000 people have been victims of molestation by Catholic priests. A Pew Research center survey tells that approximately 8 in 10 U.S. adults have faced church sexual abuse as a child, reflecting a big issue.
Places of worship offer peace and solace, and if these institutes get polluted with wrong intentions and activities, it is scary. So what to do if a believer becomes a victim in the hands of the clergy? What to do if you or someone is known to you has faced molestation in a church? This article explores the legal options that a victim can have.
Defining clergy sexual abuse
Any person in religious authority like a clergy, priest, pastor, or rabbi who sexually exploits a churchgoer is considered sexual abuse in the church. It may also be termed as molestation that includes unwanted sexual advances like fondling, inappropriate touch, pornography, nakedness, and sexual assault.
The effects of church sexual abuse
The abuse may have occurred recently, or decades ago, the impact is continuous. A victim experiences various emotions from anger to grief, fear of speaking out, and blames.
Some of the everyday things that survivors shared:
Trouble in adopting healthy adult sexual relationships
Trouble in setting boundaries
Struggles with self-esteem
Lost faith and find it hard to believe again
If you are a survivor, you may have pain and discomfort buried within you. You may have tried telling someone, but they have not believed you or blamed you for everything. The chances are that you have not spoken to anyone. The effects are traumatic. You can start healing from within by talking about the incident with someone or seek professional help from an experienced lawyer. You will need to take the first step, and your attorney will take care of the rest.
What to do if you are a victim of sexual abuse in the church?
Anybody who received unwanted sexual advances is a victim of sexual abuse. You may be a secondary victim and experience indirect church authorityís sexual misconduct as a spouse, children, or a churchgoer. If you want justice, take the legal route.
What to do immediately after facing sexual abuse at church?
Do not visit the church. Religious leaders may try to dissuade you from taking police help to save their reputation.
Discuss your plight with a sexual assault attorney. Your lawyer will help you understand the situation, offer options to move forward, and explain the processes required for a legal solution. Often the first consultation is free.
It is good to talk to a counsellor who can help you overcome the situation and make you feel at ease. Lawsuit compensation will help you meet various needs to process your case.
Get legal assistance without any delay.
If you are a survivor of church abuse, you may find it difficult to step forward, but that would be the most important thing to do.
Statistics prove that sexual predators donít just have one victim. Standing for yourself will help you and also prevent someone else from becoming a victim. It may sound intimidating to engage in a lawsuit, but an experienced lawyer will make things smooth and comfortable for you.
If you are one who chooses to fight against church sexual abuse, there are many taking the legal route and getting assistance and justice. Regain your confidence and restore your lost faith by standing for yourself.
When you talk with a legal expert, you get the right guidance, and your attorney will work with every positive effort for you.