Sexual abuse is a traumatic experience that can have far-reaching consequences. Many victims struggle to cope with the effects of the abuse for the rest of their lives.
A person may be physically assaulted in an attack and may suffer from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other forms of psychological trauma years, or even decades, later. Survivors of sexual abuse may struggle to trust others and may become isolated. They may also find it difficult to go to school or to hold a job. The combination of bills for healthcare treatment related to the attack, the emotional scars, and difficulty earning a living can cause victims to struggle to get by.
These effects can be compounded if the abuser was a religious leader. In addition to all those consequences of sexual abuse, being victimized by a member of the clergy brings other forms of suffering, including a feeling of betrayal that can cause a victim to question his or her faith.
Often, spiritual leaders who sexually abuse others use religion to attempt to justify their actions and make threats to keep victims silent. Other people in positions of power and influence within the religious institution may fail to report alleged abuse to the authorities as required. They may even intimidate survivors to keep them from coming forward with allegations of abuse in order to protect the religious institution from negative publicity and expensive legal settlements.
If you were a victim of abuse carried out by a religious figure, a Michigan clergy sexual abuse lawyer may be able to help you. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has represented people all over the United States and helped them seek justice from those who harmed them. Our firm does not shy away from tough cases. Call our office today at (800) 219-9622 to speak with a member of our staff.
What Are Examples of Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse can include many acts. The common element is that the acts are not consensual. The use or threat of physical force is involved in some cases, but not all. Sometimes abusers threaten or intimidate their victims. In other instances, a victim is physically or mentally incapacitated or is too young to consent.
Sexual abuse may include penetration with a body part or an object and unwanted touching of a sexual nature. Other forms of sexual abuse include taking photos or videos of an unclothed victim without consent and the sharing of those photos or videos with others. An abuser may also force a victim to participate in sexual acts or to watch others engaging in sexual acts.
Anyone can be a victim of sexual abuse, regardless of age and gender. In cases of abuse committed by members of the clergy, leaders of any religious faith may be perpetrators.
Statutes of Limitations for Sexual Abuse in Michigan
Under Michigan Public Act 183 of 2018, §6, the victim of a sex crime has ten years to bring a legal action civil court regardless of any criminal charges that may occur.
According to Michigan Compiled Law, § 600.5851b, a victim can file a lawsuit any time before whichever of the following is later:
(a) The individual reaches 28 years of age.
(b) Three years after the date the individual discovers, or should have discovered, both the individual’s injury and the causal relationship between it and the criminal sexual conduct.
How a Michigan Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer May Be Able To Help You
If the statute of limitations has not expired, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the clergy member who sexually abused you. We may be able to seek compensation for your medical expenses associated with the abuse and its aftermath, as well as for lost income, lost or reduced earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
We may also be able to file a lawsuit against the religious institution that employed the individual who abused you. Employers have a duty to supervise their employees and to report suspected sexual abuse to the authorities. If the religious body that the clergy member worked for failed to meet those obligations, we may be able to seek compensation from that entity.
Seek Legal Help
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is dedicated to seeking justice for our clients. We are not afraid to take on powerful and influential people and groups, including religious organizations, on behalf of clients who have been victimized.
Sometimes individuals who have been sexually abused want to take legal action and pursue compensation, but they worry about attorney’s fees and think that they could not afford to cover the bills for a long and complex legal fight. You should not let concerns about costs stop you from pursuing the justice you deserve.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm operates on a contingency basis. That means that we do not charge clients any upfront fees to represent them. We cover the costs of litigation ourselves and only get paid if we obtain a settlement on behalf of a client.
In cases involving sexual abuse, victims often come forward years after the abuse happened. That can complicate the process of gathering evidence and building a case. Evidence may be lost or destroyed, people’s memories may fade, and witnesses may become mentally incapacitated or may die.
Time is of the essence. The sooner you contact a Michigan clergy sexual abuse lawyer, the sooner we will be able to begin interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 219-9622 to discuss your case with a member of our staff.