Sei sulla pagina 1di 3

Church Sexual Assault – Information

Priest Abuse comprises a range of immoral and unacceptable acts often perpetrated against young children and adolescents by predatory priests or other church members involving sexual abuse of varying amounts. The abuse may be a one-time, non-consensual scroll barevent or it might involve several assaults inside a continuing interaction. For example, a continuing “trusting” relationship with a young child spawned by the predatory intent of a clergy member, blanketed by the trust and reverence imputed to a priest, leading to non- consensual sexual abuse acts of molestation.

In nearly all alleged Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse situations, the short-coming by the Church member’s employer to fully, adequately and promptly disclose the crime to law enforcement and other authorities, or its continuing failure to research, address and deal entirely with the occurrence increases the effects on the abuse survivor, the community and potentially others. Current Church Sexual Abuse cases covered in the press show these short-comings, including “pass-the-trash” situations where the abuser frequently a clergy in the Catholic Church, is secretly moved from one parish to another merely to continue his predatory, criminal action on an unsuspecting parish community.

Priest and Clergy Sexual Abuse and Justice Not a day passes without a media announcement coverage regarding sexual assault and molestation of young children by pedophile priests, or the aftermath of the assault on the victims and their families. If you are a victim of sexual abuse from a priest or other clergy member, these reports are most likely to serve as an echo chamber, replaying the horror, embarrassment, guilt and other unwanted thoughts harming your wellness. Encouraged by the societal movement and other pathways that encourage survivors to disclose the assault they experienced, victims of assault are more frequently turning to the legal system to compensate them for the life-long damage and injury they have suffered.

If you are a victim of abuse perpetrated by a priest, the result of the abuse on your life and foundational belief system can be immeasurable. Regardless, holding the responsible priest and institutions accountable for their crimes and indifference may provide an amount of justice and recompense to assault survivors. Frequently, victims can leverage their legal rights through confidential mediation thereby avoiding the need for litigation. However, if litigation is required, a case might be filed where the plaintiff can remain anonymous.

Abusive Behavior All abusers, to varying degrees, employ predatory tactics that are commonly referred to as grooming, aiming at a potential abuse victim. Following is a list of grooming behaviors used by predators who are in a job of authority in relation to the subordinate child.

Grooming Grooming is a major part of a predator’s ploy. In a religious environment, the priest is viewed as God’s representative. Within this setting, the predator frequently works closely with small

amounts of children, identifying each child’s needs, weaknesses and situations. Once a target is located, these vulnerabilities – such as tumultuous family setting, loneliness, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, attention-seeking – might be systematically leveraged in the following ways:

Trust An assaulter will initially try to gain the child’s trust. This step is most difficult to notice as church communities are often tight-knit and personal interaction with clergy is commonplace. Here, the assaulter can pretend sincere interest in the child’s wellness and development – both emotional and religious.

Reliance As a predator creates a trusting relationship with the potential child-victim and oftentimes their family, the child will start to rely more and more on the predator for whatever need it is that the priest is exploiting and fulfilling. clergy lawsuit may spend more time with the priest, feeling more and more comfortable with the relationship and counting on its stability and security. In addition to attention and affection, the potential target may receive presents from the priest, including valuable, intangible gifts like blessings and special recognition. Isolation As the grooming progresses, the predator will try to isolate the potential victim. This could mean individual counseling sessions, meals or other forms of one-on-one isolated encounters. Sexualization The predator might begin to de-sensitize the child from reacting negatively to contact, caressing and various actions that lead to sexual interaction. This might begin with crossing the physical-touch barrier, or verbally, with suggestive messages to gauge the victim’s reaction to the progression. This will continue until the relationship advances to one of a physical, sexual nature. Maintenance As the sexual relationship is established, the predator will work to maintain control over the child and the continued interaction. The predator will likely seek to manipulate the child by continuing to make the victim feel special and worthy. The predator will continue to exploit the victim by whatever ways necessary to maintain the immoral physical relationship.

Impact on Clergy Abuse Survivors

The impact of childhood abuse on the victim can be severe and life-changing. Several clergy assault survivors suffer from long-term effects of the abuse including depression, disturbed sleeping, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse and eating patterns, and problems creating and maintaining healthy relationships. Individualized treatment and support groups can assist victims overcome these effects.

Legally, a survivor of Priest Sexual Abuse may recover financial compensation from the predator and, more commonly, from the church for its failure to shield the victim from the

abuse, as well as failures or deficiencies in its process of reviewing and responding to reports of assault. If you are a victim of Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse and would like to confidentially discuss your experience and your legal options, we are prepared to speak with you.