Sexual abuse is a heinous crime, especially when committed by clergy, who are entrusted to take care of children. Recently, cases of sexual abuse within a number of church institutions, such as the Roman Catholic Church and the Mormon Church, have hit the headlines. In some cases, the full extent of institutionalized abuse may always be unknown. It seems that sexual abuse was a widespread problem in religious institutions, going back to at least the 1950s.
If you or someone you love has suffered the tragic and devastating effects of childhood sexual abuse in the Church, you might have legal recourse and should consult with a Bronx clergy abuse lawyer for advice. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now for a free consultation with one of our team members at (800) 219-9622.
Effects of Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse and sexual violence can have a number of detrimental effects on victims. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), some of the effects can include:
While it can be normal for victims of abuse to experience sadness and hopelessness, when these feelings do not disappear after a while, they can develop into depression. If your feelings interfere with leading a normal life, and you believe that you may be suffering from depression, consider finding professional help, such as mental health counseling.
Victims of sexual abuse or assault can suffer from flashbacks. Flashbacks of horrific memories of abuse can make a sufferer feel like they have to endure the upsetting moment repeatedly. Flashbacks can make it difficult for a victim to differentiate between what is reality and what is memory.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
If you are a victim of sexual abuse and your feelings of anxiety and stress become overwhelming, you could be suffering from PTSD. Unfortunately, PTSD can be debilitating for sufferers who may experience flashbacks, insomnia, and other problems. PTSD can make it difficult for survivors to function in their daily life and their careers.
Sexual abuse may have many different long-term effects that can affect every victim differently. Some other negative effects can include:
- Alcohol and drug dependence
- Relationship problems
- Problems with intimacy
- Mood swings
- Isolation and loneliness
- Suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, whether recently or in childhood, the effects of abuse may have impacted your life severely. However, you could recover compensation for your suffering. Speaking to a Bronx clergy abuse lawyer can help you assess your legal options and your next best steps.
The New York Child Victims Act
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo gave an extension of the “lookback window,” allowing victims of childhood abuse the right to file claims under the New York Child Victims Act.
The Child Victims Act helps survivors of sexual abuse in several ways:
- Increases the amount of time for the filing of criminal proceedings against abusers
- Allows victims of sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits before they reach age 55
- Allows victims to file an action against institutions, such as the Catholic Church
- Requires judges to undergo training regarding crimes of sexual abuse of a minor.
Even if your abuse happened many years, the New York Child Victims Act may allow you to file a lawsuit against your perpetrator and your church. Filing a civil lawsuit could help you recover compensation for your damages. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for more information.
For a free legal consultation with a Bronx Clergy Abuse Lawyer Lawyer serving nationwide, call (800) 794-0444
Compensation for Clergy Abuse Victims
According to Market Watch, a new flood of sexual abuse lawsuits could cost the Catholic Church more than $4 billion, after more than 5,000 new sexual abuse cases have surfaced. Some survivors’ claims date back to the 1950s, and they are now able to sue due to an extension of the statutes of limitations in several states. Some lawyers believe that payouts could, in some cases, end up being higher than the $350,000 national average per case.
While it can be difficult to know exactly how much a survivor could receive in a lawsuit, as every case is different, you could potentially receive compensation for any monetary expenses you incurred as a result of sexual abuse, including:
- Costs for medical treatment
- Costs for psychological therapy
- Loss of income
Depending on your sexual abuse claim and the effect that the crime had on your life, you could also receive a number of non-economic damages. These damages intend to compensate you for those effects that are difficult to measure in dollar value and can include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental disorders resulting from abuse
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
Since covering up such a despicable offense is a reckless and egregious act, you could also receive punitive damages from the church.
Bronx Clergy Abuse Lawyer Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
We Can Help
Unfortunately, the survivors of sexual abuse often suffer from what happened to them for the rest of their lives, even though they are innocent victims. Their abusers, on the other hand, may have gotten away with committing their crimes for decades. In some instances, they continued serving in high positions in the church. This is immoral and wrong.
You can get justice, and you can speak out and hold an abuser and the church responsible for their crimes. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you with this. While the prospect of filing a lawsuit can seem daunting and overwhelming, we can take care of all the details, so you do not have to.
We can gather the necessary evidence, build your case, and communicate with the defendants’ legal representatives. Civil lawsuits do not always go to trial. If you worry about having to come face-to-face with your abuser, we can try to find alternative solutions to make the process as comfortable as possible for you.
You do not have to worry about upfront costs as we will only charge attorney’s fees and get paid when you win your case and receive a settlement. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 219-9622 to learn how a Bronx clergy abuse lawyer can help you.