Clergy Sex Abuse Attorneys

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Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyers

Former Sex Crimes Prosecutors Helping Victims of Clergy Sex Abuse Since 1994.

Clergy sexual abuse occurs when a trusted clergy member takes advantage of you sexually. This trusted individual violates you in the worst way. Most of the time, clergy sexual abuse affects children who are involved in the religious organization.

If you are a victim of clergy sex abuse, you are likely trying to make sense of what happened to you. Whether you are still under the age of 18 or an adult with a family of your own, you have experienced a severe trauma that has not been easy to overcome. You likely feel ashamed and question everything and everyone. You need to know you are not at fault, and you deserve to find happiness in life once again.

For over 25 years, our team of former sex-crimes prosecutors at the Derek Smith Law Group have helped victims like you face their abusers and get the compensation and justice they deserve. We understand the nature of the trauma you endured. We are not here to push you towards anything. We simply want to help and guide you through the system.

What Is Clergy Sex Abuse?

Clergy sex abuse applies to members of the clergy of all religions, whether you are Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or of any other religion. To understand clergy sex abuse, you must understand the meaning of clergy. Clergy members are the religious leaders of local religious communities. They include the following:

  • Priests
  • Rabbis
  • Deacons
  • Bishops
  • Imams,
  • Mullahs,
  • Hazzans
  • Members of the leadership of religious organizations (Nuns, Cantors, Assistant Rabbis, etc.)

Clergy sexual abuse occurs when these trusted leaders, the very people we are told are closest to our higher power and should be trusted, take advantage of their position in this role. As a result, they take advantage of you and your associated trust.

Instead of protecting you from evil things and beings, they take advantage of your trust in the following ways:

  • Touching you sexually
  • Exposing themselves to you
  • Molesting you
  • Lewd or perverse acts
  • Rape
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Using sex to threaten you.
  • Sexual assault
  • Making comments that are sexual and inappropriate.

Who Are Victims of Clergy Sex Abuse?

Clergy abuse can happen to anyone of any age and any gender. In the Catholic church, we often hear about boys under 18 being molested by clergy. However, clergy sexual abuse does not discriminate based on age, race, national origin, or gender/sex.

Many times, clergy find it easy to sexually assault and abuse children within the organization. Children are taught to look up to the clergy member. Typically, the clergy finds those most active in the religious organization. These children constantly interact with the clergy member. They believe the clergy member and that his behavior is righteous.

However, some clergy members may choose to target older congregants by making them feel special. These congregants look to the clergy as people in a position of power and a respected community member. In these instances, the clergy may begin harassing an adult member of the organization, leading to instances of a seemingly consensual sexual encounter or even rape.

If you feel as though your clergy member sexually abused or assaulted you, you do not need to be afraid. You have a right to stand up against them. Contact the former sex-crimes prosecutors at the Derek Smith Law Group for help.

How Much Time Do Clergy Sexual Abuse Victims Have to File a Claim?

If you are the victim of clergy sexual abuse, you have rights. Federal and state laws protect victims of clergy sexual abuse. These laws provide you with the right to not only fight for justice in criminal court. They also give you the right to file a lawsuit in civil court to get the compensation you deserve.

Many states have adopted new laws that extend the statute of limitations for any victim of child sexual abuse, including victims of clergy sex abuse. Under these new laws, you don’t have to file a lawsuit immediately. You can heal from the emotional trauma before worrying about meeting legal requirements to file your case and face your abuser in court.

Many laws provide people a time limit based on age to file a civil lawsuit. Many child victims do not have to file their lawsuits until they are well into adulthood. In many states, the statute of limitations extends to people over 50. Furthermore, if you wish to file a criminal complaint about child sex abuse by a clergy member, many states allow you an extended time limit to file. You can likely file your claim several years after your 18th birthday.

If you are an adult victim of clergy sexual abuse, you must follow the statute of limitations to file a complaint about sexual assault and abuse in your state. Some states offer a statute of limitations of four years or longer for sexual assault. Other states may provide a time limit of two years or less to file your clergy sexual assault claim.

The experienced team of sexual abuse attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can help you determine the appropriate time limit, based on your circumstances and state, to file your civil court case against your abuser.

Helping Victims of Clergy Sex Abuse in New York City, Philadelphia, Miami, Los Angeles, and New Jersey

Overcoming clergy sexual abuse is not an easy process. You likely are in pain and very confused. Reliving a trauma that you left behind from your youth can bring back many memories and be almost as traumatic as the initial abuse.

The process of proving clergy sexual abuse can be scary for survivors. You have to agree to relive your trauma and face your abuser. The payoff is justice and the compensation necessary to move on with your life.

Our team of former sex-crimes prosecutors understands this pain and is here to help. As former sex-crimes prosecutors, we have seen victims at their worst. We have helped them put their abusers away for years.

As your civil case sexual abuse lawyers, we can help you get the compensation you need to move on with your life. We will help you throughout the entire process and work with you to ease your fears as the process moves along. We will ensure you file the proper information with the proper courts in the time frame provided by law. Most importantly, we will stand by your side, advocating for your rights.

Contact Our Experienced Team of Clergy Sex Abuse Attorneys Today for Your Free Consultation

Victims of clergy sexual abuse deal with repercussions for years after the abuse. They must deal with the psychological damage brought on by the events. No person should ever have to live with being the victim of clergy sexual abuse.

If you or your loved ones have been victimized by clergy sexual abuse in New York City, Philadelphia, Miami, Los Angeles, or New Jersey, our team of former sex-crimes prosecutors and sexual abuse lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group can help.

Contact us at (800) 807-2209 for your free consultation today. Allow us to help you in your time of need. We do not receive any payments until you win your case.

Were you a victim of clergy sexual abuse? Do you want to know your rights? Please call 800.807.2209 to speak with our sexual abuse attorneys about your situation.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form or call (800) 807-2209 today.

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