Sexual abuse can be physically and emotionally devastating. It can impact victims in profound ways for the rest of their lives.
People who have been sexually abused may suffer physical injuries from an assault, as well as pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The emotional trauma can lead to anxiety, depression, withdrawal, social isolation, eating disorders, substance abuse, and attempted or completed suicide.
Sexual abuse can affect victims financially. They may need to seek medical treatment and may undergo years of therapy to deal with the emotional trauma. The devastation of the abuse may make it difficult or impossible for victims to attend school or to work.
The emotional effects of sexual abuse can be compounded if the abuser was a trusted member of the clergy. The victim can feel betrayed not just by the abuser, but by the religious institution he or she is affiliated with and by other members of that institution. In many cases, other people in positions of power cover up abuse to protect the institution from bad publicity and the financial costs of lawsuits.
If you suffered abuse by a person in a position of power within a religious organization, a Louisiana clergy sexual abuse lawyer may be able to help you seek justice. Contact us today at (800) 219-9622 to discuss your case with a member of our staff.
Overview of Sexual Abuse
State laws define sexual offenses in a variety of ways. Sexual abuse may include many non-consensual acts, such as penetration, touching, groping, exhibitionism, voyeurism, and taking and/or sharing private photos without the victim’s consent. Those actions may or may not occur with the use or threat of force, the use of weapons, intimidation, or coercion. Sexual abuse sometimes occurs while the victim is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, otherwise incapacitated, or too young to legally give consent.
Who Can Be Responsible for Sexual Abuse
The Catholic Church has been in the news repeatedly in recent years with large numbers of victims coming forward with charges of sexual abuse. In many cases, victims alleged that they were abused by priests and other leaders in Catholic churches and schools and that other individuals in positions of power knew of the abuse but covered it up in a systematic way.
Numerous victims claimed that religious organizations were informed of abuse and supposedly conducted investigations, but victims said those investigations were not intended to be thorough and to get to the truth. In numerous instances, religious leaders did not report alleged abuse to the authorities as required and threatened or intimidated victims to discourage them from filing reports. Prosecutors have argued that denials and coverups allowed thousands of children to suffer abuse at the hands of priests and that the abuse continued for decades.
Sexual abuse by clergy is not limited to the Catholic Church. Leaders in other faiths, including other Christian denominations, Judaism, and Islam, can also be perpetrators of sexual abuse. People of any age and gender may be victimized.
How Survivors May Be Able to Seek Justice
If you suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a member of a religious leader, a Louisiana clergy sexual abuse lawyer may be able to help you seek financial compensation, but you have a limited amount of time to pursue legal action. Under Louisiana Revised Statutes §2800.9, a liberative prescriptive period of ten years applies to an action for sexual abuse of a minor. That period of time begins on the date when the victim reaches the age of majority. According to USLegal, liberative prescription is similar to a statute of limitations. Under the Louisiana Civil Code Title 1, Article 29, the age of majority in the state is 18 years.
According to the Louisiana Civil Code Title 24, Article 3492, “Delictual actions are subject to a liberative prescription of one year. This prescription commences to run from the day injury or damage is sustained.” USLegal explained that: “Delictual fault arises when one person commits a tort against another person […] Delictual fault is also the intentional or negligent causing of damages.” Adult victims of sexual abuse committed by a member of the clergy therefore have a window of just one year to take legal action in Louisiana. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today so we can begin working on your case as soon as possible.
Connect with a Louisiana Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer
If you suffered abuse by a member of the clergy, you may be struggling to cope with the trauma. The abuse may have impacted you physically, emotionally, and financially. You may be feeling betrayed and may be struggling to get through each day.
We may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf against the clergy member who abused you, and possibly also against the religious institution, school, or organization he or she worked for at the time of the abuse. Our firm does not shy away from tough cases. We are not afraid to take on powerful institutions, including religious organizations, to seek justice for victims who suffered harm by those groups.
You may be entitled to financial compensation for medical treatment you received to treat injuries you sustained in the attack, as well as for costs for mental health treatment you received to help you cope with the emotional effects of the abuse. We may also be able to recover a financial award to compensate you for lost income and lost earning potential, as well as for pain and suffering.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
People who suffer abuse are sometimes reluctant to take legal action because they think that they could not afford to pay legal fees. That should not concern you because Pintas & Mullins Law Firm operates on a contingency basis. Our firm covers costs related to litigation and does not charge clients any money up front. If you ask us to handle your case, we will only get paid if we recover a financial award on your behalf.
You have a limited amount of time to take action to seek justice. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 219-9622 to discuss your case with a member of our staff.