Churches should give their members a sense of safety and community where they can foster their spiritual growth, not face the threat of assault or worry about their children being abused. Unfortunately, not all churches provide a safe haven for their congregations, and many people have come forward with their experiences of abuse that, in many cases, church authorities failed to report appropriately.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church, has a history of sexual abuse allegations, particularly involving young children and teenagers. Some victims feel afraid to hold the Church accountable for many reasons, such as lasting trauma or the fear of retribution. If you or your child suffered sexual abuse, an Alaska Mormon Church sex abuse lawyer may be able to help you seek financial awards for your injuries. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 219-9622 to speak with our legal team about your case.
The Effects of Sexual Abuse on Victims
The American Psychological Association (APA) defines sexual abuse as any type of unwanted sexual activity, including forced sex acts, threats of sexual assault, and sex with a person who cannot legally consent, such as a child. Victims of sexual abuse often know their abuser. Abuse may occur one time, or it can repeatedly occur over an extended period. Children may not initially understand the situation, but they still face an increased risk for long-term consequences.
According to the American Counseling Association (ACA), children who suffer sexual abuse have a higher risk of developing many conditions, including:
- Guilt and shame
- Eating disorders
- Sexual problems and relationship problems as adults
If a member of a Mormon Church in Alaska sexually abused you or your child, you do not have to suffer in silence. A lawyer may be able to help you hold the abuser responsible for the harm they caused you.
Sexual Abuse in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Many survivors who suffered sexual abuse in the Mormon Church as children have pursued legal action against the Church in recent years, undoubtedly finding power in numbers. Victims claim that abuse within the Church has occurred for decades, but those in positions of power did not report the abuse through the proper channels.
Thankfully, times have changed, and our society has begun to take claims of abuse more seriously. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today with more information, and we will help you determine if you have a case.
An Alaska Mormon Church Sex Abuse Lawyer May Be Able to Help You Prove Your Case
In civil cases, the victim must prove that the perpetrator holds responsibility for causing the victim’s harm. Unfortunately, victims in sexual abuse cases carry this burden of proof, and they often find it difficult to manage this task on their own. A lawyer may be able to help by handling as much of this process as possible on your behalf so you can pursue the compensation you deserve.
Types of Evidence that May Support Your Claim
A lawyer may gather evidence from your case and those involved to help support your claim and prove that your abuser holds responsibility for your abuse. The types of evidence that may support your case include:
- Sexual assault evidence collection kit
- Phone call records
- Text messages and emails
- Witness testimonies
- Police reports
- Criminal history
- Background check
If someone within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sexually abused you or your child and Church leaders did not take the appropriate steps when you reported it to them, an Alaska Mormon Church sex abuse attorney can help you file a claim for financial recovery.
Proving Negligence in Your Case
Once a lawyer has collected evidence to build your case, they can use it to establish liability. Attorneys establish liability by proving that the actions of your abuser and/or the Church meet the four criteria for negligence, which include:
- Duty of care: your abuser and/or the Church had a responsibility to keep you safe and protect you from preventable harm.
- Breach of duty: the abuser and/or the Church breached their duty of care to you by acting unlawfully or failing to act in a harmful situation.
- Causation: the breach of duty led to your injuries.
- Damages: your injuries resulted in significant damages.
After you have established liability in your case, you can pursue financial recovery.
Financial Awards in Sexual Abuse Cases
Sexual abuse often leaves victims with emotional and financial losses, and its lasting effects can contribute to long-term financial instability. The types of awards you may qualify for and amounts you may receive depend on the circumstances of your case, but they may include compensation for:
- Emergency medical care, follow-up appointments, and other healthcare expenses related to your abuse
- Mental health treatments
- Lost wages if the effects of your sexual abuse have prevented you from working
- Pain and suffering, such as mental anguish and anxiety
A lawyer can evaluate your damages and help you seek fair compensation in your case.
Alaska’s Statute of Limitations on Sexual Abuse Claims
According to Child USA, Alaska does not have a statute of limitations (SOL) on many types of criminal charges for sexual assault cases involving children. However, a statute of limitations does apply in some civil sexual abuse cases. For sex abuse claims involving children under age 16, a claim must be filed against the perpetrator before the victim reaches age 21 in most cases. All other claims against perpetrators and other defendants (such as religious organizations) must be filed before the victim reaches age 20.
Your lawyer can determine if you qualify to file a claim and how much time you have left to file so you can do so as soon as possible.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Right Away to Get Started on Your Case
Victims of sexual abuse should not carry the responsibility of recovering the losses associated with their abuse on their own. If an Alaska clergyman or other Church member sexually abused you or your child, an Alaska Mormon Church sex abuse lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you pursue compensation. Call our legal team today at (800) 219-9622 for your free case evaluation.