Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Sexual Abuse and Assault Statistics
The statistics surrounding sexual abuse and assault are not only disturbing, but shocking.
- According to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 17% of boys and 25% of girls are sexually abused before the age of 18.
- One report stated that in sexual abuse cases that were actually reported to law enforcement, 93% of juvenile victims knew the perpetrator.
- The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW), states that only about 30 percent of all sexual assault cases are reported.
- Nearly 40 percent of victims experience later relationship issues with family and friends as well as with co-workers, according to the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). In addition, the likelihood that a person suffers depressive or suicidal thoughts also greatly increases after experiencing sexual abuse.
- In 2017, the National Crime Victimization Survey released by the Department of Justice, reported that every 98 seconds another American is sexually assaulted.
The lawyer who serves as the executive director for ChildUSAdvocacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending child abuse and neglect by advocating for better laws for child protection, believes that one of the contributing factors to these statistics is the statute of limitations laws that exists within the US legal system. As previously reported on our website, The Biggest Deterrent to Reporting Child Sexual Abuse could be the time limits our justice systems puts on victims to file a lawsuit.
Get Help from a Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer
The emotional injuries from sexual abuse can last a lifetime. Victims struggle with depression, anxiety, PTSD and numerous other conditions. With everything that has already happened, the idea of facing your abuser can seem incredibly overwhelming.
However, too many incidents of sexual assault go unreported in our country. Many of those who were sexually abused as a child or teen don’t recall the events of the abuse until years later when they are adults. In those cases, victims often believe their abuse happened too long ago to receive civil justice, which in many cases, is just not true. In cases like this, it is especially important that survivors find the right Catholic Church sex abuse attorney, particularly, one he or she feels comfortable sharing their story with.
The good news is, now more than ever, survivors are feeling empowered to come forward and stand up to their assailants. Those who choose to hire an experienced Catholic Church sex abuse lawyer to help pursue legal claims against their abusers can help to prevent others from becoming victims of sexual predators. Many also say that holding their abuser accountable was one of the key steps in the healing process. With more and more predators being prosecuted, victims are gaining the courage to speak out and seek compensation.
If you or someone you love was the victim of sexual abuse, call us for more information on hiring an attorney who focuses on Catholic Church sexual abuse claims. The information you provide, as well as your identity, will be kept completely confidential until you are ready to move forward. In addition, there is no obligation and the legal consultation is completely free. In fact, our legal team works on a contingency so you will never have to pay any costs or expenses in advance.
You should also know that in some states, programs have been put in place by the Catholic Church to financially compensate victims without the need to file a lawsuit or go to court. An experienced Catholic Church sexual abuse attorney can help you to navigate these programs and maximize your potential financial recovery.
Don’t wait. There are legal deadlines associated with every claim and many sexual abuse survivors have questions about how long they have to file a Catholic Church sexual abuse lawsuit. Call us at 1-800-941-7209 to learn more about your legal options and let us help you stand up to your abuser.
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Why Contact a Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Attorney?
Taking the first step and contacting a Catholic Church sexual abuse attorney can seem like an overwhelming task. Many survivors wonder if starting a legal claim is even ‘worth it’, especially in cases where the clergy member or priest’s information and/or whereabouts is unknown, or when the abuser is deceased.
The good news is that our attorneys have experience with these situations and can help explain the opportunities available under the law. Our goal as Catholic Church sex abuse lawyers is to make each survivor feel comfortable with the legal process. We do not pressure our clients to move forward with lawsuits. Instead, we listen to your unique story, provide you with a clear synopsis of your legal options and then explain how we might proceed in order to hold your perpetrator and the Catholic Church accountable.
If a client decides to move forward with a claim, there may be both civil lawsuits and criminal charges that can be brought on his/her behalf.
Monetary Compensation through a Civil Lawsuit
Monetary compensation is the most common remedy sought with a civil lawsuit against the Catholic Church and its clergy member(s). While no amount of money can ever adequately compensate a sexual abuse survivor, the hope is that the financial compensation can help pay for things like:
- Pain and suffering caused by the abuse
- Damage done to personal relationships, including loss of consortium claims
- Therapy and mental health counseling, both past and future
- Punitive Damages (when allowed by law)
Depending on the state’s statute of limitations laws, a sexual abuse survivor may have the option to participate in the criminal prosecution of his/her abuser. The decision as to whether or not the perpetrator(s) will be charged with a crime, however, is left up to the state’s prosecutors. Factors taken into account by the prosecutor’s office often include:
- How long ago the abuse occurred
- If the pedophile priest or clergy member is still alive
- The severity of the sexual abuse
- How many survivors are available and willing to cooperate with the prosecution
It is important to note that survivors are under no obligation to testify or participate in a criminal trial if they are not comfortable in doing so.
Contact a Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Taking the First Step
If you are ready to take the first step and hold your abuser and the Catholic Church accountable, we at the Feeney Law Firm are here to listen and help. Survivors often wonder what to expect when they contact an experienced clergy sexual abuse lawyer so we’ve included a step-by-step outline to help familiarize each of our potential clients with the process. Our goal is to make you feel comfortable and ensure we are available when you are ready to discuss your unique situation.
To review our step by step guide, simply click the link above, navigate to the ‘Quick Page Links’ box at the top of the page and choose ‘Filing a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against the Catholic Church’.
At the Feeney Law Firm, we pride ourselves on delivering a ‘small law firm’ experience to our clients. Each client is assigned one Client Relations Manager, one Paralegal and one Attorney for his/her case. You will not be bounced around to multiple staff members or asked to tell your story over and over again to a host of different people. In addition, to make getting in touch with us easy, our clients are provided both office and cell phone numbers to reach the staff assigned to their case.
To learn more about our Catholic Church sexual abuse lawyers and our client support team, click here.