Any kind of abuse is a difficult topic to discuss. However, if the abuse occurred from a trusted clergy member, the fallout could cause permanent psychological and physical damage. While no person has the legal right to abuse another person, those members of the clergy that do so take advantage of their unique position of trust in their faith-based communities.
Many people believe that clergy abuse only occurs in Catholic churches by priests. However, this is far from the truth. Every denomination and faith have instances in which a clergy member or trusted member of the religious organization has committed abuse upon either minor children in the congregation or adult members of the congregation. If you experienced any kind of abuse from a clergy member in the state of New York, speak with our legal team and learn how a Hempstead clergy abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 219-9622 can help you today.
The Horror of Clergy Abuse
Many victims of clergy abuse are minor children. While any abuse of children is horrific, when the abuse occurs from a trusted member of the faith community, it can result in devastation to families and the lives and faith of the entire congregation. The clergy have an inherent responsibility, both morally and legally, to provide a safe space for their congregants to come for assistance, reassurance, and help for any problem they may have. Families feel safe leaving their children with a clergy member as they have typically developed a level of trust within the entire religious community.
While many news stories focus on the Catholic church and the abuse attributed to priests, the truth is that many different religious organizations and institutions have serious issues related to clergy abuse. If you experienced any abuse from a member of the clergy, as an adult or previously as a minor child, you have the right to seek justice. Visit with our legal team for a completely private and confidential conversation and find out how a Hempstead clergy abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you receive the justice you deserve under the law.
Examples of Clergy Abuse
Clergy abuse does not just entail the actual act of sexual intercourse. There can be more subtle variations of abuse that remain illegal and a violation of rights. Unfortunately, some victims never come forward to file a claim to receive justice because they do not understand that what they experienced rose to the level of clergy abuse. Some of the examples of clergy abuse include the following:
- A clergy member using any kind of force, threat, or intimidation to get someone else to unwillingly engage in any type of a sexual act
- Unrequested, unwanted, and unsolicited touching, patting, squeezing, or fondling by a clergy member against an unwilling victim
- Engaging in any type of contact physically with another person that is completely non-consensual
- Sexual stimulation with an unwilling victim (including both penetrative and/or oral sexual acts)
- Removing any person’s clothing without their complete consent or when accompanied by any threat, intimidation, or force
- A clergy member revealing a private body part to another person without complete consent
- A clergy member speaking words or engaging in any action that rises to the level of intimidation regarding any sexual act
- Unsolicited words or comments, behaviors, or gestures by a clergy person toward another person
- Showing minor children any sexually explicit pictures or videos, or introducing a minor child to any language or materials of a sexual nature
- Taking photographs and/or requesting photographs of any minor child of a sexual nature for either personal use or for distribution, or both
For a free legal consultation with a Clergy Abuse Lawyer serving Hempstead, call (800) 794-0444
Child Victims Act
Under the law, a victim only has a limited amount of time to bring a claim against their abuser. However, realizing that many victims of clergy abuse fail to come forward due to shame, guilt, or confusion, the New York State Senate unanimously signed into law in 2019 the Child Victims Act. This law gives survivors of clergy abuse the ability to legally file a claim of clergy abuse up until their 55th birthday for civil claims, and up until the age of 28 to file a criminal complaint.
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Justice and Compensation for Clergy Abuse Victims
Clergy abuse victims often suffer in silence for years, or even decades, afraid to bring their experiences public. However, if you are in the process of considering whether or not to file a claim against an abuser for the experiences you suffered, you will not only have the legal right to bring your abusers to justice, but you will also have the legal right to pursue compensation for all of your injuries and losses. Some of the types of compensation victims of clergy abuse can receive include the following:
- Out-of-pocket expenses for all the medical bills and costs incurred associated with mental health therapies and treatments as a result of the clergy abuse
- The need for continued therapies and treatments
- Psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder and/or mental anguish Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life and/or loss of consortium
- Loss of wages due to a victim remaining unable to return to work due to their physical or psychological challenges resulting from the clergy abuse
- Other economic or non-economic losses
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A Hempstead Clergy Abuse Lawyer Can Help You
You have several options if you want to move forward with a clergy abuse claim. First, if you suffered abuse in the Catholic church, you may have the right to receive compensation through the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program. Also, you can contact the New York Attorney General’s Clergy Abuse Hotline. However, if you have more of an interest in learning what all of your legal rights are, and how you can receive both justice and compensation for your injuries and losses, contact our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Call (800) 219-9622 for your free consultation.