The innocent victims that suffer sexual abuse from clergy members often face permanent psychological and spiritual damage. Survivors of clergy sexual abuse and sexual trauma often keep their abuse secret for years or even decades due to shame, embarrassment, or the unwillingness to come forward out of fear.
Shrouded in silence, these victims remain unsure or unable to understand that they have a legal right to bring their abusers to justice, even years after the abuse occurred. If you suffered any kind of sexual abuse at the hands of a clergy member, you have a right to seek justice. Consider speaking with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 219-9622 to learn how an Illinois clergy sexual abuse lawyer can work with you to receive the justice you deserve.
Clergy Sexual Abuse Occurs Within All Faiths
While the Roman Catholic Church often receives a great deal of press regarding their involvement in clergy sexual abuse scandals, the Catholic faith is not the only religion to struggle with issues involving clergy sexual abuse. In fact, the Insurance Journal reports that the three largest insurance companies that insure the majority of all Protestant churches throughout the United States receive hundreds of reports of clergy sexual abuse incidents. In June 2019, the Southern Baptist Convention reported that the incidents of sexual abuse by their clergy members against congregants were on the rise.
The United Methodist Church has also reported similar findings that clergy members continue to abuse their congregants and young victims. Reports of clergy sexual abuse include both Jewish clergy members as well as Muslim clergy members. No faith seems to remain immune to these types of clergy sexual abuse allegations, and if you suffered any kind of sexual trauma or abuse as a result of a clergy member abusing their position of power and authority, you have the legal right to seek justice.
Movement to Extend Deadlines to File Clergy Sexual Abuse Cases
The years of silence have slowly come to an end as a collective outcry for justice and accountability for the actions of clergy members grew throughout the United States. As a result, victims began to share their stories publicly of the abuse they endured at the hands of clergy members decades ago.
Their voices allowed others to speak up for themselves as well, and the courts began to realize that under existing laws, these victims had lost their ability to file a civil claim because the statute of limitations (deadline to file a claim) had passed. Following massive movements throughout the country, many victims are now afforded the legal right to pursue litigation against their abuser and bring them to justice, years after the abuse occurred.
Illinois Statute of Limitations Laws
According to Child USA, there is absolutely no statute of limitations deadline for a victim of clergy sexual abuse to bring a claim against their abuser. In 2014, the state officially eliminated the civil statute of limitations completely and permanently, allowing victims the opportunity to come forward and have justice, even decades after the abuse occurred. Additionally, for those victims that file a criminal charge against their abuser for their actions, under 720 Ill. Compiled Statute 5/3-5(a), there is also no statute of limitations deadline. Because victims in the state of Illinois have any amount of time to bring a legal claim against their abuser, an Illinois clergy sexual abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you bring a civil or criminal case.
Types of Justice and Legal Recourse Available to Clergy Sexual Abuse Victims
Any person that suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted clergy member understands that no amount of compensation will ever mitigate the damage that occurred. However, in the interest of justice, many victims of clergy sexual abuse make the brave and courageous decision to file a claim for legal recourse. Some of the reasons that victims bring claims against their abusers are in order to have closure regarding their past, or be a part of the solution to ensure that these types of horrific abuses never happen to other congregation members. Some of the types of justice and legal recourse available to clergy sexual abuse victims through the court system includes the following:
In many cases, victims of clergy sexual abuse face years of mental health counseling and psychiatric therapy, costing thousands of dollars. A claim against a clergy sexual abuser can help financially assist a victim in paying for expenses accumulated over the past several years or decades. In some cases, victims will also suffer physical challenges as a result of their abuse, and they can also receive compensation for those losses as well.
The damage resulting from clergy sexual abuse can last a lifetime and include a strain on personal relationships, the inability to form healthy relationships, and pain and suffering. While these amounts are often legally challenging to quantify, an Illinois clergy sexual abuse lawyer can help fight for the compensation you deserve under the law of Illinois.
Possibly one of the greatest incentives a victim has to come forward with a claim against a clergy member for sexual abuse is injunctive relief. Injunctive relief is a court order that requires either the clergy member or the church organization (or both) to comply with specific steps in order to prevent the future occurrence of sexual abuse against congregants. Survivors of clergy sexual assault can find comfort in this type of relief knowing that their claim can help others avoid their pain and suffering.
Learn How an Illinois Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer Can Help
You have the legal right to pursue justice and help others avoid your pain if you are a victim of clergy sexual abuse. Consider speaking with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 219-9622 to find out how an Illinois clergy sexual abuse lawyer can compassionately visit with you regarding your claim and help you ensure your legal rights remain protected.