An unexpectedly large number of phone calls have been made to Pennsylvania’s toll-free hotline, created to allow clergy abuse survivors to report incidents of sexual or physical misconduct by priests. Reports indicate the hotline has received nearly 2,000 calls since its creation last year. The high utilization of the hotline highlights the continuing need for justice for survivors of clergy abuse across the state.
When investigating, the Grand Jury of Pennsylvania released its report in August 2018, detailing the wide scope of clergy abuse by Catholic priests in the state, calls for further action were immediate. The grand jury report provided details of sexual abuse allegations against more than 300 Catholic priests who had worked in Pennsylvania dioceses. Many believed this was only the beginning. In response, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General established a toll-free clergy abuse hotline where survivors could report clergy misconduct, including allegations of cover-ups.
The vast majority of the complaints received by the hotline were against Catholic priests, with 90 percent of callers alleging sexual abuse at the hands of a Catholic clergy member. Some of the information received through the hotline has resulted in additional charges filed against priests by law enforcement agencies across the state.
Many Catholic dioceses have established compensation funds to address the clergy abuse crises in their jurisdictions. However, accepting compensation from such funds, may not always be the best course of action. All survivors of priest misconduct should consult first with an experienced clergy abuse lawyer before signing any agreement or accepting any funds from the Church.
It can take a lifetime to heal from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. For many survivors, having their day in court can be an important part of the healing process. Individuals can spend years receiving medical and psychological treatment for the pain experienced at the hands of a trusted priest. Others deal with the post-traumatic effects of their abuse on a daily basis. Filing a claim can be first step in protecting a survivor’s rights and recovering the financial compensation they deserve. By holding abusive priests and those who covered up the abuse, including the Catholic Church, responsible for their actions, survivors can begin to move forward with their healing.
At Williams Cedar our experienced attorneys work with clergy abuse survivors and their families to help them obtain justice. We believe our clients and stand by them during this difficult time. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, to assist clergy abuse survivors throughout New Jersey including those in Trenton, Camden, and Metuchen and in Pennsylvania including those in Allenton, Scranton, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Greensburg, Johnstown, Erie, and Wilkes-Barre. To schedule your free confidential consultation with an experienced Camden clergy abuse lawyer today, call us at 215-557-0099 or 856-470-9777 or submit an online inquiry form.