Children Abused By Greek Orthodox Clergy Have Legal Rights
Priests in the Greek Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox churches have been accused of sexually abusing many children. Though allegations are not (yet) as widespread as those emerging from other religious institutions, there is sufficient cause for concern that Orthodox churches may be concealing evidence of sexual abuse in their organizations.
After painful decades of suffering in silence, thousands of adults have come forward claiming that priests, rabbi’s, and ministers, abused them when they were children. New York recently extended the statute of limitations to file civil suits and seek criminal charges against sexual abusers, not just those who are religiously affiliated. This new law gives victims of child sexual abuse time to mature, gather strength, and find the courage to face their abusers without forfeiting their legal rights.
If you were sexually abused by a member of the Greek Orthodox Church when you were a child, you should find out more about your legal rights. You may be able to file a claim in a court of law to recover monetary damages from your abuser or the institution that kept the abuse secret. Finally holding your abuser accountable can go along way on your journey toward recovery. For more information about your legal rights call our clergy sexual abuse lawyer Alonso Krangle at 516-350-5555.
If A Greek Orthodox Priest abused you, The New York Child Victims Act Gives You Time To Pursue Legal Remedies
Historically, the statute of limitations to bring a civil lawsuit against someone who abused you as a child was reasonably short. In New York, an abused child had until the age of 23 to seek criminal prosecution against the abuser. 23 was also the age limit to file a civil lawsuit to recover monetary damages.
It has become evident, precisely because of the widespread allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, that many victims of child abuse are unable or unwilling to report their abuse. Because of the harm sexual abuse causes, it can take decades of therapy, struggle, depression, and medication before a victim of sexual abuse can acknowledge what occurred. By the time many victims came forward, the statute of limitations had long passed.
Now, however, 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 55 to file a civil lawsuit against the sexual abusers.
- Until the age of 28 to seek criminal prosecution of sexual abusers.
The law also provides a one-year period during which people of any age can pursue these remedies.
If you were sexually abused as a child by a Greek Orthodox Priest, a religious leader or anyone else, you might still have time to file a lawsuit and seek monetary damages. Call our Clergy sexual abuse lawyer to find out more about how the Child Victims Act protects you.
Greek Orthodox Church Sexual Abuse Causes Injuries
Victims of child sexual abuse suffer throughout their lives. When the abuser is someone they know and trust, as most often is the case, the emotional harm can have a devastating effect on their adult relationships and stability. When the church is part of the equation, the feelings of betrayal and confusion can take the trauma to an even deeper level.
When a child is sexually abused by a clergy member in the Greek Orthodox Church their injuries include:
- Self-harm such as cutting
- Drug addiction
- Alcohol addiction
- Inability to hold a job
- Failure to engage in meaningful relationships
These injuries may begin while sexual abuse victims are still children and may last well into adulthood. The injuries may not be evident until adulthood when a victim starts to remember abuse that occurred as a young child. Regardless, the result of being sexually abused as a child is severe emotional trauma. Victims need help to recover.
Filing A Lawsuit Against Sexual Abusers Helps Victims Heal
Some people believe that facing one’s abuser and holding them accountable is an integral part of the healing process. How can filing a lawsuit help?
- Holding your abuser accountable in public
- Having your abuser admit to the abuse
- Preventing your abuser from hurting others
- Encouraging other victims to come forward
- Receiving a monetary award for your suffering
Filing a lawsuit may secure the validation and closure that many victims of child sexual abuse need to help them move forward. If you have been sexually abused by a member of the clergy of the Greek Orthodox Church, consider whether filing a lawsuit is right for you.
Contact Us for Information About Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Our clergy sexual abuse lawyer Alonso Krangle understands that sexual abuse occurs in all religious institutions. Priests, Rabbi’s, Elders, and Pastors have all been accused of abusing children in their churches.
If you were sexually abused as a child by a clergy member of the Greek Orthodox 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 more about your legal rights.