Religious communities have faced increasing accusations of sexual abuse of minors in recent years. Those who have been sexually abused or assaulted by religious leaders must know that it’s possible to get justice.
NY Clergy Abuse Law Firm
Our experienced injury attorneys have represented and won cases for victims of church sexual abuse. We can help your voice be heard, too. Our legal team is offering completely free, confidential legal consultations so that you learn more about your options. Contact us now.
Religious Communities and Sexual Abuse of Minors
The threat of sexual assault and exploitation against young children is widely believed to exist within several communities or organizations. Even so, some aspects and dynamics of religious organizations appear to increase the likelihood of such abuses.
As an example, children who attend church groups are encouraged to obey priests and other religious leaders without hesitation. Victims struggle to speak out against the perpetrators due to this power dynamic. Victims tend to be afraid of punishment and may be ignored when they submit their claims. Sometimes victims may not even realize that they have been victimized by someone they trusted.
Often, religious communities are also separated from the broader society. Because of this isolation, abuse can go unnoticed if it’s ever mentioned at all.
Abuse by Catholic Priests
Credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors began to surface in the 1980s, mostly involving boys as old as 14 and as young as 3 years of age by Catholic priests. Several of the claims came from adults who, after many years, came forward to disclose traumatic childhood memories.
In the 1990s, the public began to take notice of these claims of priest sexual abuse, which prompted numerous reporting agencies to investigate. Since then, instances of sexual abuse in the Catholic church have been reported across North America, Canada, a few nations in South America, and throughout Europe.
There was an alarming pattern of hesitancy to report allegations of sexual abuse within the church that was slowly revealed. In addition to the fact that the abuse was widespread, it took place on several continents and some of the claims dated back half a century.
Legal Actions Against the New York Roman Catholic Dioceses
The Child Victims Act, which was signed into law by former Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2019, sparked a flood of abuse lawsuits against the Catholic Church and other organizations. More than 4,000 people have sued Catholic churches, schools, and other institutions for failing to protect them from sexual abuse by priests.
Additionally, in September 2018, the Brooklyn Diocese agreed to pay $27.5 million to settle claims with four clergy abuse survivors.
To help victims and avoid costly lawsuits, the Catholic Dioceses of New York created a victim compensation program. With over 1,260 claims of sexual misconduct settled in just two years, the program has paid out more than $228 million to abuse victims.
Victims Of Abuse Find Justice
A “look back” window was opened by the New York government and many states followed suit and implemented legislation to create new hope for the victims of priest sexual abuse. Despite the fact that it has been delayed for far too long, the day has finally come when victims of such deep-seated abuse can have a day in court.
Did a priest at your church or another religious community abuse you sexually? It is crucial that you know you are not alone in your struggle and that justice can be obtained.
Despite years spent hiding your trauma and painful memories, there is no need to suffer anymore. We encourage you to join the thousands of other brave victims who have taken legal action against those who have allowed the abuse to occur. Changing laws allows you to file a lawsuit, even if abuse occurred decades ago. In order to put an end to systematic sexual abuse, the perpetrators and their protectors need to be held accountable.
Obtain a free legal consultation from our experienced sexual abuse attorneys today.