Molestation Within the Catholic Church
File a Civil Suit for Childhood Sexual Abuse
The words ‘sexual assault’ and ‘catholic church’ are poles apart and yet they have been publicly intertwined as far back as the 1980s. However, it was not till the 90s that these cases started to attract significant media attention. As many as 3,000 clergymen have been found guilty of sexually abusing minors and children within the premises of the Holy Church.
This issue is finally getting more global outcry for action to be taken. The UN wrote a letter to the Holy See in April 2021 expressing “utmost concern about the numerous allegations around the world of sexual abuse and violence committed by members of the Catholic Church against children, and about the measures adopted by the Catholic Church to protect alleged abusers, cover up crimes, obstruct accountability of alleged abusers, and evade reparations due to victims”.
This report exposed how the Catholic Church tried to keep these horrific cases hidden for decades. They had made it a practice to protect their image by transferring priests accused of sexual harassment from one parish to another and sometimes even abroad, allowing them to continue abusing those who were ignorant to their deviant pasts.
This is a serious refusal of collaboration with the civil authorities against the Catholic Church. They failed to cooperate during abuse investigations and opposed national legal reforms which are aimed towards helping survivors to seek justice.
In order to protect children from sexual abuse in Los Angeles and other cities, the UN urges the Church to reform internal procedures. Issues that sexual assault attorneys want to see addressed include:
- Child protection
- Abuse prevention
- More accountability and transparency
- Higher reporting rates sectors
It’s difficult to wrap one’s mind around these travesties and how they can be allowed to happen. Any sexual abuse lawyer will tell you it doesn’t happen overnight. Sexual abuse, especially when a minor is the victim, is a slow drip that starts as a friendship that is then taken advantage of once the abuser gains the victim’s trust.
These priests, being spiritual leaders, are entitled to a lot of trust from their flock, which they intend to misuse in several ways during the so-called ‘grooming’ process. Our lawyers explain the process below:
- They identify potential victims. Predatory priests use the umbrella of trust to build a close relationship with their parishioners and get to know a great deal about their flock. This helps them to identify vulnerable youths who they can then victimize.
- Next, they isolate their victims. It is a very common practice for catholic Christians to entrust their child’s spiritual development to a priest. This means priests often isolate the child from their parents under the guise of spiritual counseling, spending time alone with the child where they can enact their perversity.
- Finally, they control and conceal the relationship. Manipulation is easy for priests as they are deemed as “men of God”. A priest with an abusive nature often leverages this authority to control and conceal their pedophilia. They would generally threaten their victims with the ire of God if they were ever seek help from someone else. This is a very common method for abusive priests to continue hurting their victims and concealing the incidents.
So if you ever come across such abuses in your life or if a child you know is being victimized as such, never hesitate to make it public and take the course of justice over being an ‘obedient Catholic’. If you don’t know who to reach out to to stop the abuse, you have an ally in an unlikely place.
People are beginning to hire injury lawyers in Newport Beach to file a lawsuit against their sexual abuser. These are civil suits, similar to car accident lawsuits, where the defendant is forced to financially compensate the plaintiff over going to jail.
A criminal trial for child molestation can be held separately, and many people choose the civil court route because these cases are easier to win. Instead of proving “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the burden of proof in a personal injury case is “more likely than not,” making a jury or judge more likely to side with the plaintiff.
Families all over the world are searching “best sexual assault lawyer near me” to hold their abusers accountable. If the child is still a minor, then the parents can file the lawsuit. If the child survivor has grown into an adult, they can file by themselves. Childhood sexual abuse survivors have a high rate of suicide, so if this is the unfortunate reality, their surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.
Contact our lawyers today. We will focus on the legal battle while you focus on healing.