Clergy abuse is a systemic problem that states across the country are trying to handle. In Nebraska, new laws were passed to offer better protection to children who may be or may have been abused by a member of the clergy in a religious organization. Many of these changes developed after two decades of revelations showing that organized religions like the Catholic Church had systemic problems with child abuse and related coverups.
Many of the new laws are intended to help victims take legal action and report the abuse they suffered. Unfortunately, most cases go unreported because victims are unable to come forward for a variety of reasons. However, there is more support than ever for coming forward and taking a stand against abusers.
If you or a loved one is a victim of clergy sexual abuse, you may be able to take legal action against your abuser and the group to which he or she belongs. To do this, you may want the assistance of a Nebraska clergy sexual abuse lawyer to help you with your case. Call the offices of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 219-9622 to discuss your case with our team.
Clergy Sexual Abuse Laws in Nebraska
Many states across the country have passed new laws to try to protect children from abuse. One of those laws deals with mandatory reporting. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, if anyone has a reason to suspect that a child is being abused, they may report it. Although the law does not directly stipulate that clergy members Nebraska specifically are required to report abuse, the language is vague enough to include clergy members among the group of mandatory reporters.
Aside from the laws requiring mandatory reporting, clergy members may be required to report potential abuse within their own organization. Many organized religions passed internal regulations similar to Nebraska’s mandatory reporting laws in which any clergy member that suspects abuse must report it to either law enforcement or a higher official in the organization for further investigation. Many organization leaders believe this may help them prevent abuse from within the organization rather than relying on legal actions outside of the organization.
Settlement vs. Trial
Clergy sexual abuse cases that have a good chance of winning in a trial also have a higher chance of being resolved with a settlement agreement. A settlement agreement is a contract that says that you will accept a specific amount of compensation and other terms in exchange for closing a lawsuit immediately. In some cases, this is done to try to protect an organization’s image in the public because anything revealed in trials becomes public information. However, you are not obligated to accept a settlement agreement under any circumstances.
For you, accepting a settlement agreement may be an effective way to shorten the amount of time you have to wait for compensation and to avoid the stress of a trial. Many victims are tempted to accept agreements so that they do not have to go to trial and can try to move on with their lives. Whether or not you accept the agreement is between you and, should you choose to hire one, your lawyer. Thoroughly review the agreement to determine the best option in your case.
Long-Term Impacts of Clergy Sexual Abuse
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are many factors that make children vulnerable to sexual abuse. Their age, family situation, and location are all prominent factors in who is abused. However, it is never the victim’s fault. Unfortunately, sexual abuse can derail a person’s life and lead to a large number of problems afterward.
Clergy sexual abuse can have a profound impact on a person’s life. Many victims experience significant issues throughout the rest of their development and well into their adult lives that make it difficult for them to function in society. For example, many victims find it difficult to maintain meaningful relationships. This can make it difficult to maintain employment or handle higher stress jobs, effectively limiting the amount of money that they can earn.
Overcoming clergy sexual abuse is a difficult process that may take many years. Victims often require mental health services to make progress but cannot afford the services given the other impacts that the abuse had on their life. Taking legal action is a way to help you get the services that you need by claiming compensation in a lawsuit. Get help with the legal aspects of your case by contacting the offices of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer
Hiring a Nebraska clergy sexual abuse lawyer can provide you with someone who can manage your case for you and fight to make sure that your needs are addressed. Many law teams, including the one at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, offer free consultations and other services that can help you determine if legal action is your best option.
Call to Schedule a Free Consultation
Although you may be the victim of clergy sexual abuse, there are things you can do to address that abuse and get the support that you need to get your life back on track. Many victims decide to work with a Nebraska clergy sexual abuse lawyer to file civil lawsuits against their abusers. You can call the offices of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 219-9622 to discuss your case during a free consultation with our team.