The news is rampant with allegations of sexual abuse against children. There was a time when accusations of child abuse were kept secret. Victims were afraid to speak up, and organizations like the Episcopal church ignored their stories. Now, however, child abusers are being exposed by the very institutions that were protecting them for decades.
The Catholic church, Orthodox Judaism, Mormon church, Baptist church, and the Episcopal church have faced lawsuits filed by victims of child sexual abuse within their organizations. The allegations are against a variety of church officials including priests, Rabbis bishops, and more. These lawsuits include claims that church authorities knew about the sexual abuse and hid it from the public, their congregations, and police, at times continuing to put children in harm’s way.
If you were a victim of sex abuse when you were a child, the Child Victims Act gives you the right to file a civil lawsuit or pursue criminal charges against your Episcopalian abusers. Call our clergy sexual abuse lawyer for more information about your legal rights.
If An Episcopalian Clergyman Sexually Abused you, You Might Have Time to Pursue Legal Remedies Under The New York Child Victims Act
New York, like many other states, has extended the time for victims of child sexual abuse to confront their abusers. Under the New York Child Victims Act victims have:
- Until the age of 28 to seek criminal prosecution of sexual abusers.
- Until the age of 55 to file a civil lawsuit against the sexual abusers.
The law also provides a one-year period during which people of any age can pursue these remedies.
Previously, victims only had until age 23. As a direct result of the thousands of children, now adults, who have come forward with allegations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, many states have revised their laws to provide more time for victims to come forward. It can take decades for a child to come to grips with sexual abuse and find the courage and strength to confront their abuser. The Child Victims Act gives them that time without forfeiting the right to pursue legal remedies.
If you were sexually abused as a child by an Episcopalian clergyman, such as a bishop or youth minister, you might still have time to file a lawsuit and seek monetary damages. Call our Clergy sexual abuse lawyer to find out if you qualify.
Signs of Sexual Abuse in the Episcopal Church
In most religions, adults are figures of authority. Priests, teachers, ministers, elders, all play an essential role within the church and exercise power over the children and even adults within the congregation.
Churches and Synagogues offer the opportunity for adults to teach young members in various settings. Unfortunately, some of these settings along with the trusting relationships that are inherent in religious institutions result in ample opportunity for predators to cultivate their victims. Sexual abuse by an Episcopal clergyman may occur whenever he is alone with a child.
- At bible study camp
- At church services
- On a church retreat
- At a youth group event
- During a religious study lesson
Because adults and children in religious settings meet alone during these events, there are not often witnesses to the abuse. If you suspect that a member of the clergy is abusing someone you know, there are some things to look for. Signs of sexual abuse by an Episcopal priest may include:
- Sudden wetting of the bed
- Sudden withdrawal
- Unexplained fear
- Use of sexually explicit language
- Anxiety about attending church
- Refusal to participate in religious activities
Sexual Abuse By Episcopalian Church Causes Severe Harm to Children and Adults
People who experience sexual abuse as children deal with the emotional trauma well into adulthood. Many children who are abused by trusted clergymen and religious figures suffer from:
- Alcohol addiction
- Drug addiction
When the abuser is someone a child knows and trusts, as most often is the case, the emotional harm can have a lasting effect on their adult relationships and stability. When the church is part of the equation, feelings of betrayal and confusion can deepen the trauma. Victims of sexual abuse often have so much trouble coping that they suppress their memories for years.
Filing A Lawsuit Against Sexual Abusers Helps Victims Heal
The benefit of New York’s Child Victims Act is that victims of sexual abuse now have more time to process the trauma they have experienced without forfeiting their legal rights. Part of healing is sometimes facing your accuser, pursuing criminal charges and/or filing a lawsuit. People who are abused as young children can wait until the time is right for them to come forward and seek remedies against their abuser or the church that protected them.
IN addition to providing monetary compensation, a successful lawsuit can offer validation and closure for a sex abuse victim. If an Episcopalian clergy member abused you, consider if filing a lawsuit is right for you.
Contact Our Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer to Protect Your Legal Rights
Our clergy sexual abuse lawyer Alonso Krangle understands that sexual abuse occurs in all religious institutions. Catholic priests, Episcopalian bishops, Jewish Rabbis, Jehovah’s Witness Elders, and others have all been accused of abusing children in their churches. If you were sexually abused as a child by a clergy member of the Episcopal church or any other, call our office today for a free case evaluation and find out if you have the right to file a lawsuit against your abuser. You can reach us at 516-350-5555. Start your recovery today by finding out if you are eligible to collect monetary damages.