Clergy Abuse Lawsuit

Were you or a loved one the victim of rape, sexual assault, or lewd acts from a clergy member?

If so, we can connect you with a lawyer for a free and confidential consultation. All private or sensitive information you share with the law firm remains confidential through an attorney-client relationship. In many instances, help is available for you to hold those responsible for causing your harm financially accountable for their acts or their negligent failure to protect you.

You may be compensated for:

  • Therapy Bills
  • Medical Expenses
  • Emotional Distress
  • Punitive Damages
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Financial Loss

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Clergy Sexual Abuse

What Is Clergy Abuse?

Clergy abuse is defined as a member of the clergy sexually abusing a minor or another non-consenting individual.  Clergy and religious figures in positions of authority have both a moral and legal a responsibility to their communities they guide and serve. Unfortunately, it’s become increasingly apparent that some of these community leaders have used their positions and power to sexually abuse vulnerable people in their care. What’s more, these figures have often used the means allotted to them in their positions to hide and deny that abuse.

Sexual abuse does not confine itself to rape or sexual battery. You have the right to take legal action against a clergy member who engaged in indecent exposure or:

  • Fondled or touched you without consent
  • Coerced you into removing your clothing
  • Engaged in molestation or otherwise lewd acts
  • Sexually harassed or threatened you

You retain your right to legal action against a clergy member if you were coerced into giving that clergy member consent to touch or otherwise interact with you. Similarly, the CDC notes that minors cannot legally consent to sexual acts with non-minors. That means anyone who endured allegedly-consensual sexual abuse as a minor may still have the right to a civil case.

Catholic Priest Clergy Abuse

Sexual Abuse In The Catholic Church

Clergy sexual abuse has been documented in every state in the United States. Most allegations of clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church involve priests. As a result, clergy abuse is commonly referred to as “priest abuse.”  These allegations of abuse span decades and thousands of victims. For example, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) recorded 4,228 claims of child sexual abuse in 2021 which identified over 2,700 clergy members from across the country as potential perpetrators of these acts. In the wake of several high-profile cases and the admission of fault by prominent religious organizations, survivors of clergy abuse are coming forward to demand legal justice and accountability from responsible dioceses.

Catholic Sexual Abuse

Catholic Sexual Abuse Statistics

The statistical figures cited in the 2021 USCCB report are most likely underestimates as the vast majority of victims may never come forward with abuse charges. In the United States alone, about 6,000 Catholic priests have been credibly accused of sexual abuse, with allegations that often span decades. However, the perpetrators of sexual abuse in the Catholic church have not been confined solely to clergy members. They may also include deacons within the church, along with teachers, administrators, or staff of Catholic schools, hospitals, charities, and orphanages.

Clergy Abuse — Frequently Asked Questions

What is clergy abuse?

Clergy abuse refers to sexual, physical, or emotional abuse perpetrated by clergy members such as priests, pastors, or ministers.

What role do laws and regulations play in addressing clergy abuse?

Laws and regulations can provide a framework for holding abusers accountable and safeguarding survivors from additional suffering in the case of clergy abuse.

How can survivors of clergy abuse seek justice and compensation?

Clergy abuse survivors can seek justice and compensation through legal action, mediation, or alternative dispute resolution.

What are some common signs of clergy abuse?

Secrecy, inappropriate physical contact, misuse of power dynamic, emotional manipulation, and undue attention or gifts are all indications of clergy abuse.

What are some common reasons why clergy abuse goes unreported?

Fear of retaliation, embarrassment, or a lack of awareness about reporting processes are among reasons why clergy abuse may go undetected.