Childhood Clergy Abuse | How Can an Attorney Help?
The rash of child abuse cases that have been filed against certain members of the clergy during the past decade has put a spotlight on criminal actions that many people shuttered to think were actually happening. What the legal filings have exposed is that this is actually a real phenomenon that has been occurring for many years without the victims coming forward because of the stigma associated with the claim. The tide has turned regarding this behavior by members of the clergy that was once unthinkable, and now the victims of this abuse can bring a case to court without being scoffed at or the court turning a blind eye for a variety of reasons, many of them based on the notion that the claimants are not believable. The number of instances of sexual child abuse has led to a significant increase in the number of cases, but it still takes an experienced abuse lawyer to represent the family through out the claim process.
Why it is Necessary to Have a Clergy Sexual Abuse Fighter
Claims of sexual abuse towards the members of the clergy have been staunchly defended by the upper management of the designated church, most notably the Catholic religion. Even the Pope has issued pardons for all clergy who have been targeted for just such behavior. However, the court system has not been so kind. The claim of the church has been that there is no physical damage to the children, but physical injury is not always necessary for a valid injury claim to exist. Mental anguish is also a valid claim, and the level of mental anguish associated with being sexually abused as a child is difficult to calculate.
Any physical injuries suffered while the abuse was occurring can be claimed, but it takes documentation or solid testimony to establish abuse charges. While physical injury claims for medical bills could be minimal, claims for long-term mental damage to children can be assessed for the remainder of their life. In addition, punitive damages could also be available when a case goes to a full trial, which is something all organized churches want to avoid. This can be solid leverage in enhancing a settlement value, but it takes an experienced and dedicated abuse lawyer to determine an equitable compensatory value based on the material facts of the case.