Since 2002, when The Boston Globe published its groundbreaking investigative report unveiling decades of sexual assault with Massachusetts dioceses, even more survivors have come forward. Many had suffered in silence for decades prior.
Few institutions in the modern world are as monolithic as the Catholic Church. So many victims suffer for years in a shroud of silence and secrecy because they are afraid to speak out against such a powerful institution and the authority figures within it. Also, as the Boston Globe and subsequent investigations have proven, the Church historically has silenced victims and gone to great lengths to cover up abuse claims to protect its reputation and position of power.
Despite the Church’s wealth, power, and sphere of influence, an action like that of Boston Globe reporters and the subsequent wave of investigative initiatives and lawsuits has proven the institution is not above the law. In the past few years, actions on the part of advocates, attorneys, reporters, lawmakers, and others have empowered individuals and instilled a sense of hope that justice is achievable.
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is dedicated to continuing this pursuit of justice against institutionalized corruption and the abusers who benefit from it. These San Diego clergy abuse lawyers firmly believe all abusers should answer for their crimes. They also recognize how difficult it is for survivors to speak about their experiences and respect and honor the bravery of those who can and do so.
They are committed to fighting for victims to ensure their experience is not for naught. By coming forward and pursuing justice against abusers, survivors can seek retribution not only for themselves but for other survivors in California and around the world. Filing a claim against an abusive clergy member may also help to get them defrocked or removed from their position, thus potentially protecting future would-be victims.
If you are ready to speak about your experience, or pursue justice for a minor child, turn to Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Seeking justice against an institution like the Catholic Church is no easy feat. These tenacious legal advocates will be with you every step of the way to guide, advocate, and support you in your fight. Call the office at (800) 219-9622 to speak with us.
How a San Diego Clergy Abuse Lawyer Can Help You
Pursuing justice against abusers can be challenging, particularly because the protocol for filing a claim against the Church or member of the clergy can differ from that for filing against a usual member of the public. In addition to its complexity, the process may be time-consuming and emotionally taxing. This is why many survivors enlist the help of a San Diego clergy abuse lawyer.
An attorney can help you by:
- Identifying who to file a claim against, such as the individual clergy member or the diocese
- Establishing the scope and severity of harm you suffered
- Gathering evidence to prove the incident
- Building and filing a criminal or civil case
- Advocating for you to pursue monetary awards on your behalf, whether via a settlement or in a court of law
- Advocating for injunctive relief
- Connecting you with resources, such as counseling, to help you in your healing journey
- Answering your questions and concerns along the way
There are a few routes you may take to seek justice in a clergy abuse case.
Most people who file claims in civil court seek monetary awards, and this includes abuse survivors. Financial compensation may help you pay for things such as counseling, therapy, and past and reasonably anticipated future medical expenses related to the abuse. This includes assessments you may need to undergo to prove the harm your abuser caused.
Injunctions are another avenue you can pursue. Also known as injunctive relief, court injunctions constitute the court ordering someone to do something. With clergy abuse, this may mean the court orders the Church to dismiss or defrock the abusive clergy member to reduce the likelihood they will continue abusive behaviors.
California Statute of Limitations on Sexual Assault Claims
California, in 2019 extended the statute of limitations for survivors who had endured sexual abuse as children or teens.
The statute of limitations is a timeframe within which a plaintiff can bring a suit or criminal claim against another person. All criminal and civil cases have a corresponding statute of limitations. In most cases, survivors who suffered harm in childhood have at least a few years after their 18th birthday to file a claim. This is crucial because children may not initially recognize the harm they have suffered for what it is. They may also not realize they have a right to pursue justice or understand the legal options they have to do so.
Previously, California’s statute of limitations allowed childhood sexual abuse survivors eight years from their 18th birthday to file a claim or three years after the date they discovered or should have realized they had suffered grievously from the incident. Now, under Assembly Bill (AB) 218, survivors have 22 years from their 18th birthday or five years from the date they discover or should have discovered they suffered severe physical or psychological injury as a result of the harm done to them.
For a free legal consultation with a Clergy Abuse Lawyer serving San Diego, call (800) 794-0444
Get in Touch with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
If you are ready to take a stand against your abusers or those who have harmed your child, turn to Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to start building a case. While no amount of monetary awards can undo the suffering you have endured, financial compensation may equip you with resources to heal, rebuild, and move forward.
Furthermore, injunctive relief may protect other victims from harm and provide you with a sense of justice served. Taking action and standing up to your abuser can provide you with a sense of much-needed closure as well, which may help you in your healing process.
Call the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm office at (800) 219-9622 to speak with a staff member to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a San Diego clergy abuse lawyer.