The Archdiocese of New York is one of more than 100 Catholic dioceses across the nation to recently release the names of clergy members accused of child sexual abuse. Victims in New York are adding their names to thousands of others from around the country who have come forward. Thanks to recent changes in the law, victims in New York have more time and a fresh opportunity to seek compensation from their abusers and the church.
If you were the victim of sexual abuse by the clergy, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm might be able to assist you with a lawsuit. A White Plains clergy abuse lawyer can help you seek justice and financial awards. If you are ready to take a stand against the people who harmed you and the institution that failed to protect you, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 219-9622.
Child Sexual Abuse Victims
It can be difficult for victims of child sexual abuse to report their abusers. Victims often do not tell anyone what they are experiencing at the time, and many do not come forward until years into adulthood, if ever.
There are many reasons children may not report abuse. Young children may not recognize the perpetrator’s behavior as abuse. They may not have the language skills to communicate what is happening, or they may want to protect their abuser, particularly if the person is someone close to them. Children may not speak out because they are afraid, their abuser threatened into silence, or they feel guilt and shame.
Sexually abuse survivors may suffer from:
- Nightmares and sleep disturbances
- Withdrawn behaviors
- Age-inappropriate sexual behaviors
Many of these issues persist into adulthood, especially for victims who do not seek help coping with their trauma. In fact, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the most common mental health problems for adult victims of child sexual abuse. Continued feelings of blame, self-doubt, confusion, and repressed or denied memories contribute to many victims’ prolonged silence.
The emotional and physical effects of child sexual abuse can negatively impact victims for their entire lives. When child sexual abuse survivors become adults, they often suffer from:
- Flashbacks of abuse
- Increased rate of suicide
- Substance abuse problems
- Chronic pain
- Engagement in prostitution or risky sexual behaviors
- Obesity, heart disease, and other chronic health conditions
- An increased risk for re-victimization
You Can Break Your Silence and Seek Compensation for Your Suffering
The consequences of child sexual abuse are vast. Victims do not only suffer at the time of their abuse. Often, they continue to wrestle with psychological issues and health problems for the rest of their lives. This impacts their physical and emotional well-being and their financial situation.
The consequences of abuse can make it hard for victims to find and maintain gainful employment. Victims may also owe large sums for medical treatment stemming from their abuse. Those who seek therapy may have bills for mental health services. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the lifetime costs for a child sexual abuse victim may exceed an average of $122,000.
If a member of the clergy victimized you, it is not your fault. Victims are never to blame for the actions of their abusers. The clergy member who hurt you and the church that sheltered them should compensate you for your losses.
A clergy abuse lawyer can help you seek:
- Economic damages: This includes the actual, calculable costs of your medical treatments, therapy, and lost wages.
- Non-economic damages: These are awards for the mental suffering and physical pain you have endured over the years because of your abuse.
- Punitive damages: A court awards these damages against a defendant that acted with extreme malice, wrongdoing, or gross negligence. Punitive damages act as both a punishment and a deterrent against future bad behavior.
The Child Victims Act of 2019
Now, more than ever, New York law is on the side of child victims when taking civil action. Under the Child Victims Act (CVA), victims who suffered abuse while under 18 now have until their 55th birthday to file a lawsuit against their abuser or a third party, such as a church or school. The CVA lengthens the amount of time for bringing criminal charges to a victim’s 28th birthday.
This window allows anyone abused under the age of 18 a chance to file a civil suit, regardless of their current age or how long ago their abuse took place.
The court would not bar victims’ claims even if they previously rejected them under the old statute of limitations. Reach out to Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to see if a White Plains clergy abuse lawyer can help you file a lawsuit within the look-back window as soon as possible.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
Child sexual abuse is a horrible crime that can inflict decades of suffering on victims. Abusers who prey on children should be punished, not protected. If a member of the clergy abused you, they should be held accountable, and so should the church that allowed its religious leaders to harm children.
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has more than 50 years of combined experience serving clients across the country. We want to offer you representation as you go through the process of seeking justice. A White Plains clergy abuse lawyer can work to ensure this process does not cause additional anguish for you or your family. Our goal is to help you achieve a settlement so that you can focus on your recovery. To learn more, call our office for a risk-free consultation at (800) 219-9622.