Sexual abuse by the clergy has long been swept under the rug and ignored. Thankfully, more victims are speaking out and, as a result, abusers are now being brought to justice. But despite victims finding their voice, the problem still persists. Victims of sexual abuse by the clergy often have a long road to recovery. Here’s how survivors of sexual abuse by the clergy can stay protected.
Report the Incident to the Authorities
The first and most crucial step in staying protected from abuse and to get it to stop is to notify the authorities. Not only will this protect the survivors, but this can also help keep the abuser from seeking out other victims. In some cases, victims may not get the proper support from the church. However, reporting the incident to the church is another critical step, as it gives them the opportunity to take necessary action to remove the abusers from the position that gives him/her access to others.
Learn Your Rights
Survivors of sexual abuse by the clergy have the right to hold their perpetrators responsible for the heinous acts that have been committed against them. Survivors can file a personal injury lawsuit against the church. Parents of minor children who have been sexually abused by clergy might also be eligible to file a lawsuit on their child’s behalf. In the state of California, there is no criminal statute of limitations for sexual assault of a minor, but there is a civil statute up to 26 years old.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Sexual abuse by the clergy is one of the most traumatizing experiences an individual can endure. The emotional, physical, and psychological damage that is done is virtually irreversible. When the trust that one puts in the clergy has been broken, many victims are left confused and vulnerable, especially if they are unsure where to turn or how to get the abuse to stop.