Being sexually abused is a traumatic experience. The abuse may impact a survivor immediately and may continue to affect life in numerous ways for decades afterward, and sometimes even for the rest of the victim’s lifetime.
A person who is sexually abused may suffer physical harm in an assault. Even if force is not used, the threat or fear of violence can be traumatic. A victim may also contract a sexually transmitted infection or become pregnant.
The psychological and emotional effects of sexual abuse are often much more devastating than the physical ones. A victim may suffer from depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder that may impact every aspect of life. A survivor may be afraid to leave home and may be unable to finish school or hold a job. A victim of sexual abuse may be afraid to trust people and may have difficulty forming and maintaining relationships.
Sexual abuse can also have financial consequences. Costs for medical and mental health treatment can be staggering, especially for an individual who needs to receive regular care over a period of years. Being unable to finish school and work can make it difficult or impossible for a survivor to be financially independent.
For someone who has been sexually abused by a member of the clergy, the fallout can be even more devastating. On top of all these negative consequences, there is a feeling of betrayal and a questioning of one’s faith. Clergy members who commit sexual abuse often use religious arguments to justify their abuse and to keep their victims from coming forward and reporting what has happened to them.
Religious organizations, schools, and nonprofits where an abuser worked may refuse to investigate a claim of abuse or may actively cover it up and intimidate the victim to protect the organization from expensive lawsuits and public scorn. Those experiences can cause a victim to question his or her religion and to feel betrayed by the people he or she trusted the most.
If you were sexually abused by a religious leader, you may be able to seek financial compensation for what you have endured. While that would not undo the damage, it could help you cover your bills and continue to receive counseling and other forms of treatment. A Minnesota clergy sexual abuse lawyer may be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 219-9622 to speak with a member of our staff.
What Is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is a broad term that can include many forms of inappropriate behavior. The one thing they all have in common is that the behaviors are not consensual.
An abuser may force a victim to have intercourse. A perpetrator may touch a victim in a sexual way without consent, or the victim may be forced to touch the abuser. A victim may be forced to perform, participate in, or watch sexual acts.
Victims of sexual abuse may belong to any gender or age group. Members of the clergy who commit acts of sexual abuse may belong to any faith.
How an Attorney Can Help You
If you were abused by a religious leader, a Minnesota clergy sexual abuse lawyer may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against that individual to seek financial compensation for your past and future medical expenses related to the abuse, lost income, lost or reduced earning potential, and pain and suffering.
If the religious organization that the abuser worked for did not conduct an adequate background check to uncover a history of abusive behavior, continued to employ the individual after receiving reports of abuse, did not investigate your alleged abuse, or intentionally covered it up or intimidated you, you may also be able to sue the religious body, according to Minnesota Statute § 541.073, Subdivision 4.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has represented victims of sexual abuse and helped them hold those who were responsible for their suffering to account. We are not afraid to take on people and institutions with immense power to seek justice for those they have harmed.
We may be able to negotiate a settlement without taking your case to court. If that is not possible, we will go to trial to pursue justice on your behalf.
If you are concerned about legal fees, you should not let that stop you from taking action. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm operates on a contingency basis. That means that if you ask us to represent you, we will not charge you any money up front.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 219-9622
Contact a Minnesota Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer as Soon as Possible
Each state has statutes of limitations that apply to civil matters, including lawsuits related to sexual abuse. If you fail to meet your state’s deadline, you may lose your right to file a lawsuit and may be unable to collect the compensation you deserve.
Under Minnesota Statute 541.073, Subdivision 2, if you were sexually abused when you were age 18 or older, the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit against the abuser and his or her employer is six years. If you were under the age of 18 at the time of the abuse, you may file a lawsuit against the person who abused you at any time. If you were abused as a minor, you must file a claim related to vicarious liability or respondeat superior against the abuser’s employer by the time you turn 24.
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can file a lawsuit on your behalf if you are still within the relevant statute of limitations. Even if you have plenty of time left before the deadline, it may be in your best interest to speak with an attorney now.
The more time passes, the greater the chance that evidence will be lost or destroyed or that witnesses will forget key events, move, or die. Call our office today at (800) 219-9622 so we can get to work on your case as quickly as possible.