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Clergy Malpractice

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Experts estimate that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 8 boys under the age of 18 will be involved in some form of forced sexual experience with an adult

Family Law - Clergy / Priest Abuse

Clergy Child Abuse

Suits have arisen in two dozen states against priests and other clerics for sexual assaults on children. Several hundred lawsuits have already been settled for Millions against the Boston Catholic Archdiocese alone. These cases of child abuse are not limited to the Catholic Church even though they have gotten most of the headlines lately. Authorities in several states are now demanding the church organizations to divulge the names of suspected pedophiles. Literally hundreds of abuse victims have had the courage to step forward in recent months in various locales. Clerics are now also being held accountable in criminal courts for their actions.

Pedophile Priests

There are time limits within which to bring these actions which vary from state to state; however there are ways to avoid the strict time limitations. Call one of our attorneys familiar with the procedures for representing you in these sensitive claims.

Most child sexual abuse is committed by someone who knows the child. The offender is usually a family member, babysitter, trusted friend, acquaintance or a person who regularly comes into contact with the child.

There is no such thing as a "typical" sexual abuser of children. They come from all social, racial, and economic backgrounds. Although the majority of abuser are males, there are also documented cases of female abusers. Children are vulnerable to sexual abuse from infancy through early adulthood. Children make easy targets because:

•  They are easily influenced by adults

•  They are naturally trusting and curious

•  They enjoy affection and attention from adults

Sexual abuse often starts with a long process where harmless touching gradually crosses over the line to sexual touching. The child may not realize that the touching has become inappropriate.

Physical force is seldom used because the child usually trusts or depends upon the offender. Sexual abuse happens to both boys and girls. There are seldom witnesses to child sexual abuse.

Secrecy ("don't tell") between the child and the abuser is often involved.

Physical evidence or injuries occur in only a small percentage of child sexual abuse cases. However, medical treatment or examination is often helpful, especially to reassure the child that no physical damage has been done.

Basic Facts about Abuse

•  Sexual abuse is against the law. It is a serious crime, and it should be stopped

•  All people have the right to feel safe from forced or tricked touch to their private parts (sexual abuse)

•  The victim of sexual abuse is not to blame. It is NEVER the child's fault. Nobody asks to be sexually abused

•  Always believe the child who discloses sexual abuse. Children NEVER lie about this problem.

•  In order for the sexual abuse to stop, it is necessary to TELL SOMEONE YOU TRUST

•  If a trusted relative or friend [or clergy member]has difficulty believing that the sexual abuse occurred, you can seek outside help:

•  Police-- To report sexual abuse

•  C.E.S. Children's Emergency Services-- to report sexual abuse.

Indicators of Possible Child Abuse in: Sexual Abuse Cases

(Following information taken from Information Guide published by Childhelp USA)

Child's Appearance

•  Has torn, stained or bloody underclothing

•  Experiences pain or itching in genital area

•  Has bruises or bleeding in external genitalia, vagina or regions

•  Has venereal disease

•  Has swollen or red cervix, vulva or perinea

•  Has semen around mouth or genitalia or on clothing.

•  Is pregnant

Child's Behavior

•  Appears withdrawn or engages in fantasy or infantile behavior

•  Has poor peer relations

•  Is unwilling to participate in physical activities

•  Is engaging in delinquent acts or runs away

•  States she or he has been sexually assaulted

Perpetrator's Behavior

•  Extremely protective or jealous of child

•  Encourages child to engage in prostitution or sexual acts in the presence of perpetrator

•  Has been sexually abused as a child

•  Is experiencing marital difficulties

•  Misuses alcohol or other drugs

•  Is frequently absent from home

Child Abuse Statistics

•  There are 30 abuse and neglect cases for every 1000 people

•  Average age of a child victim is 7 years of age

•  In 1985 an estimated 113,000 children were reported with sexual maltreatments

•  Experts estimate that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 8 boys under the age of 18 will be involved in some form of forced sexual experience with an adult

•  80% of prison inmates have been abused as children

•  More than 80% of all prostitutes and hustlers were sexually abused as children


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