An overwhelmingly high number of sexual abuse incidents go unreported. Either these memories are repressed, children and young adults feel too intimidated to come forward, or the shame associated with the abuse prevents survivors from feeling like they have the ability to speak out about what happened to them. Thankfully, as victims come forward in increasing numbers, a clear message is being sent to survivors. Your pain deserves to be heard and redressed.
We understand that coming forward can be incredibly painful. We also know that standing up for your rights can also be profoundly healing. If you’ve been abused by a priest, bishop, or another member of the clergy, you are not alone, and you deserve to be heard and we are here to help. Connect with a Fremont clergy abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to get started. Call (800) 219-9622 for a free, no-obligation consultation to take the first step in your healing journey.
Clergy Abuse Prevalence
Despite the fact that much of it is still hidden in secrecy, clergy abuse is a pervasive problem in this country. Thankfully, visibility of the issue continues to increase, and – as the public becomes more aware of its prevalence – lawmakers are acting quickly to enact laws designed to protect their communities.
A number of recent reports spotlight the persistence of clergy sex abuse and highlight the fact that most victims stay silent. Breaking the silence starts with understanding the problem.
Quick Facts about Clergy Abuse:
- According to a recent CNN report, an estimated 8,600 survivors have successfully sought compensation for clergy abuse incidents.
- The abuse tracking website, Bishop-Accountability.org, reports 15,235 allegations of sexual abuse by clergy members through 2009.
- An alarming 70% of all cases go unreported by victims.
Clergy abuse is clearly a larger problem than most realize. For too long, clergy members have hidden behind the walls of their churches and diocese. It is time for them to be held accountable. If you or a loved one has been abused by a clergy member, the law is on your side and a Fremont clergy abuse lawyer can walk you through your various options.
Fremont Clergy Abuse Laws
With the approval of Assembly Bill (AB) 218, new hope has been given to clergy abuse survivors. Born out of the recognition that most clergy abuse incidents happen while victims are children and go unreported until these victims are well into their adulthood, AB 218 works to ensure every victim is protected by extending the amount of time survivors have to bring forth claims.
Signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom, AB 218 makes a number of notable changes to the previous state law:
- Victims now have until the age of 40 – or five years after the discovery of abuse – to file a lawsuit against their abuser.
- Victims are now able to take advantage of a three-year “look back” window that extends from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022. Any allegations of abuse filed during this period will be eligible to seek compensation regardless of whether you’ve missed the statute of limitations already.
- Victims are now able to “treble” (or triple) the damages they’re awarded in allegations of abuse that involve a church or diocese cover-up.
With these new laws in place, Fremont clergy abuse lawyers are hopeful that victims will take advantage of increased rights and come forth with their stories. Every victim who comes forward reduces the likelihood of a new victim taking their place and being abused.
For abuse victims, coming forward can be the hardest step. Speaking your truth to another person – let alone a court of law – can feel intimidating. A clergy abuse lawyer will provide a safe space for you to share your story, prepare you for any questioning you’ll be asked to partake in, and act as your advocate in court. Consult with an attorney if you’re ready to come forward.
For a free legal consultation with a Clergy Abuse Lawyer serving Fremont, call (800) 794-0444
Consult a Fremont Clergy Abuse Lawyer
Clergy abuse lawyers and lawmakers understand that no amount of financial compensation can take the pain and memory away. A robust compensation settlement can, however, provide you and your family with the financial resources you need to get the psychological help and support you need to heal and recover. Additionally, by coming forward and holding clergy, churches, and dioceses accountable for their actions; you can prevent the same horrific abuse from happening to others in the community.
A clergy abuse lawyer can help you seek compensation for:
- Medical Expenses: Primary care visits, emergency room visits, therapy visits, medication costs, and more.
- Emotional Turmoil and Pain and Suffering: Depression, PTSD, anxiety, phobias, and more.
- Loss of Wages or Earning Capacity: Inability to work due to emotional turmoil or physical injury and a reduced earning capacity resulting from the abuse.
Even if you’ve missed your statute of limitations window, have not yet brought your claims to the church or diocese associated with the abuse, or are just now remembering an incident that is decades old, a Fremont clergy abuse lawyer can provide invaluable legal support. They can also provide a confidential and supportive environment in which to share your story, practical assistance with gathering necessary documents, and compelling litigation in court if need be.
If you’ve survived clergy abuse – or if your loved one is showing signs of having been abused – the time to act is now. The law is in your favor and Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is on your side. Call (800) 219-9622 for a free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation with a clergy abuse lawyer today. We will listen as you share your story, assess the details of your case, guide you on the next steps, and outline the course of action required for securing compensation. We are on your side. Together, let’s fight for justice.