Sexual abuse can cause devastating physical and emotional harm. The physical impact of abuse can have short- and longer-term ramifications, but the mental trauma is something that victims may suffer from for decades.
Survivors of sexual abuse, particularly those abused as children, may experience a variety of mental health problems. The abuse itself, as well as the shame, guilt, and fear of telling others, can lead to substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal thoughts or actions, and many other mental conditions.
Abuse from a religious leader can be hidden for years, and the added trauma of a trusted member of society perpetrating abuse can make it even harder for victims to cope. Victims may struggle to live normal lives, but a Syracuse clergy abuse lawyer can help with civil justice to address some of these wrongs.
The process can be difficult and painful, but Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you if you are ready to take this step. Call our office at (800) 219-9622 to speak with a member of our team about how we may be able to help you pursue justice.
Syracuse Churches and Sexual Abuse
In late 2018, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse released a list of clergy members that have credible allegations of sexual abuse against minors. In this, the Diocese lists the names, ordination dates, and the current statuses of the accused.
This list was a result of the Diocese’s commitment to protect youth and minors and uphold the goals of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, established in 2002 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
With a spotlight on the Catholic Church and its failure to protect congregants, victims may want to come forward to seek some sort of justice. Our team is prepared to help all clergy abuse victims seek justice for their pain.
The Emotional Impact of Sexual Abuse by Clergy
Victims of sexual abuse can have a long road ahead of them as they try to cope with their trauma. Some victims may go decades without recourse, and they may have been living with the pain for just as long. Younger victims may struggle with school, which can, in turn, impact their adult life if they struggle to find or maintain employment.
People who were sexually abused may spend years or decades seeking mental health treatment to try to process and cope with what happened to them. Victims are often afraid to talk about what occurred and to confront the source of the problem. They may fear that no one will believe them or may worry about retaliation, according to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
In cases involving sexual abuse by a member of the clergy, the psychological nature of the abuse can be particularly confusing and painful. Children often view religious leaders as trusted authority figures, similar to parents. People in the community may revere the member of the clergy and hold that individual in the highest regard.
A child who has been abused by such a person may feel a profound sense of betrayal. In other cases, a survivor may not realize that he or she was abused at all. Predators often groom their victims by earning their trust and by convincing them that the abuse is a normal expression of love or faith.
A sexually abusive religious leader’s tactics can leave a victim of any age feeling confused. It can be particularly overwhelming and difficult to process for a child who had no way to put what was happening in context.
Victims are often afraid to discuss the abuse they suffered with anyone else. They may be concerned about how coming forward could affect their relationships with their family members and friends and how it could impact the religious community as a whole. They may suffer in silence and struggle for years to process the abuse and to understand the implications of what happened.
For a free legal consultation with a Clergy Abuse Lawyer serving Syracuse, call (800) 794-0444
The Statute of Limitations and Clergy Abuse in Syracuse
When it comes to sexual abuse, New York State passed Senate Bill S2440 (the Child Victims Act) to extend the time frame for child victims. Victims currently have until they are 55 years of age to file a lawsuit if the abuse happened when they were a minor.
Adults who were abused after the age of 18 may have recourse through Senate Bill S6574, which extended the civil statute of limitations to 20 years for sexual assault cases in September 2019. Many things can impact the statute of limitations for your case, so you may want to reach out to our team to discuss any time limits.
Syracuse Clergy Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
A Syracuse Clergy Abuse Lawyer May Be Able to Help You Pursue Justice
Our personal injury lawyers can help you determine how much money you may be entitled to. The challenging nature of quantifying emotional pain and calculating money you may have lost over the years means you may feel overwhelmed. Our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is ready to help you every step of the way.
If you or a loved one did not report the abuse until years or decades later, don’t let this stop you from calling our firm. A delay in reporting can make it more difficult to compile evidence, but our team can often gather information from other sources to corroborate survivors’ claims.
Our team can also look into the actions of the religious organization that employed the abuser. There may be records of abuse or proof of cover-ups that our team can examine and use to build your case.
Crafting an argument against the abuser or the religious institution is challenging for many, especially when there are multiple factors at play. Someone should be held liable for your suffering, and we are ready to help you.
If you would like to take legal action against the person who abused you and/or against the religious organization that covered it up, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is here to help. Call our office today at (800) 219-9622 to discuss your case with a member of our staff and to learn more about how we may be able to assist you.