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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have been abused by a member of the church, there are laws and information you need to be aware of. The rules have changed, and the public is aware of the failures of the church to protect its most important members. You have rights, and we protect those rights and fight to ensure you get the justice you deserve.

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What Steps Should I Take If I Have Been Sexually Abused by a Member of the Clergy or If I know of a Loved One Who Was the Victim of Abuse?

If the abuse is currently going on, you need to tell the perpetrator to stop the unwanted conduct. Report the incident to authorities and seek medical care. Record everything in writing and take photos of any evidence to support the claim. Contact the law firm to help you with the next steps.

What Counts as Sex Abuse with a Clergy Member?

A variety of behaviors can be labeled as sexual abuse against a child. These include molestation, statutory rape, sexual assault, indecent exposure, lewd acts, sexual harassment or threats and touching either with or without clothing without consent. 

What Remedies are Available to Victims of Abuse?

You can seek compensation for the damages of your abuse. This includes the cost of medical care and therapy as well as loss of income. You may be able to receive punitive damages as punishment for those who caused or allowed the abuse. 

Who Can You File a Claim Against?

You have the right to file a claim against the person who perpetrated the abuse. You may also file against anyone who knew about the abuse and allowed it to happen. This includes the church as well as individuals.

How Much Will I Get for Compensation?

Each case is unique, so it is difficult to give a blanket figure for the amount you may receive. Certain factors will be considered when juries and judges review the case, including the age of the victim, the extent and diagnosis of injuries, if the injuries are permanent, cost of medical care and lost time from work, evidence of the abuse, whether the encounter was consensual, and the impact to the victim’s life the abuse has had.

Religions Teach Forgiveness. Is it Expected for Me to Just Forgive the Abuser?

Forgiveness is a personal decision which you must make on your own. However, it doesn’t absolve the perpetrator of their responsibilities for what happened. They should be held responsible for their actions and suffer the consequences of those actions. Additionally, taking legal action can prevent future situations from occurring to other children.

Is It Worth the Effort If the Abuse Happened Many Years Ago?

There have been numerous instances where a case of abuse from decades earlier resulted in compensation being awarded to the victim. Many times, there is evidence of the abuse even years later. There may be a witness who is willing to come forward. Often, other children in the same parish were victims as well. When one person comes forward, it can give others the courage to do the same. Multiple testimonies will strengthen the case against the responsible party.

If you have more questions about taking legal action for sexual abuse by a clergy member, you can talk to an attorney. Schedule a free consultation with no obligation to go over the details of your case.