Horrific acts of clergy abuse have dominated media headlines during the past several years, particularly concerning the Catholic Church. This form of abuse may be one of the most devastating acts of betrayal for children who trust their priests and other religious leaders. Clergy abuse can cause wounds that never truly heal and negatively impact life for people who have lived through it.
Fortunately, people who have been abused may have legal recourse against the persons and institutions that caused their abuse. Enlisting the help of a Sacramento clergy abuse lawyer may enable you to seek compensation for your losses.
We understand how difficult it can be to pursue your abusers and hold them accountable for their misconduct. As a result, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can represent your legal interests and advocate on your behalf at no upfront cost or out-of-pocket cost to you.
You pay no legal fees until you receive compensation for your injuries. By contacting us at (800) 219-9622 today, we can start the process of seeking justice for you.
Clergy Abuse in the U.S.
The topic of clergy sexual abuse most often arises concerning priests and other religious leaders of the Catholic Church, probably due in large part to the thousands of abuse survivors who have come forward in recent years.
However, cases of childhood sexual abuse also have arisen in other religious denominations, including the Southern Baptist Church, the Methodist Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Lutherans. Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism are not immune to sexual abuse scandals, although they may result in much less publicity.
According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, allegations of clergy abuse in the Catholic Church numbered almost 3,500 in the 1970s, about 2,000 in the 1980s, and 431 in the 1990s.
At least 10 dioceses in California have released publicly available lists of priests who have faced allegations of abuse, which ProPublica has added to its master list of credibly accused priests nationwide. Its list currently contains the names of more than 6,700 individuals. Although 178 dioceses and orders have released lists such as these, another 41 dioceses and orders representing 9 million Catholics have not cooperated.
Although more allegations continue to come to light, there does appear to be a trend downward in allegations of abuse as time goes on, at least in the Catholic Church. No definitive studies exist as to other religious denominations, which tend to shroud allegations of abuse in secrecy, much like the historical practices of the Catholic Church.
Compensable Injuries in Clergy Abuse Claims
The aftermath of clergy abuse can be devastating, with psychological damage and injuries lasting a lifetime. The violation of trust inherent in clergy abuse cases can cause a whole host of permanent injuries that can impact your relationships, career, and happiness.
Childhood sexual abuse may result in eating disorders, anxiety, depression, paranoia, extreme mistrust, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health conditions. These injuries likely will recover treatment, the costs of which are compensable in a civil claim against their abusers.
Survivors of clergy sexual abuse may be able to recover awards for their pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and other losses related to their victimization. The California Child Victims Act, which went into effect on January 1, 2020, also expanded the number of compensatory damages that individuals could seek for childhood sexual assault in some cases.
If evidence shows that the church or other religious institution made efforts to cover up or conceal the abuse, affected individuals can now collect treble damages or three times the compensation to which they are entitled. Getting legal assistance and advice from a Sacramento clergy abuse lawyer may allow you to pursue compensation from all parties responsible for your abuse.
If you would like to review your legal options with an attorney and find out if you could pursue awards, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation. We can help you consider your next steps and answer questions you have.
For a free legal consultation with a Clergy Abuse Lawyer serving Sacramento, call (800) 794-0444
New State Law Expands Remedies for Clergy Abuse Survivors
The California Child Victims Act made significant changes to the ability of survivors to file civil claims against their abusers and the religious institutions that employed them. People who clergy abused and people who were sexually assaulted during childhood now have a longer period in which to file civil claims for compensation.
According to the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §340.1, injury survivors now have 22 years after becoming legal adults to file their legal actions. Since individuals become adults on their 18th birthdays, they effectively can file their claims up until their 40th birthdays.
The Act also creates a temporary period during which any individuals that clergy abused can file their lawsuits, regardless of any legal time limits or statutes of limitations. Therefore, between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2022, clergy abuse survivors can file their civil lawsuits against all potentially responsible parties, even if state law normally would bar their case.
Additionally, adults who discover injuries due to childhood sexual abuse have five years to file suits for their injuries. This five-year period begins to run on the date that individuals discover their injuries or on the date that they reasonably should have discovered their injuries, whichever occurs later.
Sacramento Clergy Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Reach Out and Get Help Today
No survivors of clergy abuse should have to suffer silently or alone. Individuals who choose to come forward can focus on their emotional and spiritual healing. At the same time, your Sacramento clergy abuse lawyer pursues the clergy members and religious institutions responsible for your abuse.
By holding them accountable for their abusive actions and their role in protecting abusers, you may be able to achieve some measure of justice and closure concerning your abuse.
We represent the interests of many individuals who have suffered abuse at the hands of those they trusted for religious leadership and guidance. We strongly advocate for survivors of clergy abuse to get compensation for their injuries and make churches and other religious bodies responsible for their misconduct.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we are here to help you through this challenging time in your life. Call us today at (800) 219-9622 and begin the process of seeking compensation for the abuses that you have suffered.