As more individuals come forward with their stories of clergy abuse, the need of survivors for assistance in dealing with the physical and psychological aftermath of the abuse grows. Pennsylvania’s Grand Jury investigation uncovered over 1,000 survivors of clergy abuse in that state alone. Important resources available to clergy abuse survivors include group therapy and support groups, legislative reform advocacy groups, medical referrals, and financial assistance.
Survivor support and therapy groups can provide helpful information on websites, in resource guides, and during in person meetings. Organizations, including the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Voice of the Faithful, and the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) often maintain “frequently asked questions” pages providing an important starting point for survivors seeking assistance.
Other groups help survivors advocate for much needed legislative reform in the way states handle clergy abuse claims. Calls for extended statute of limitations periods, criminal penalties for organizations concealing abuse allegations, and mandatory reporting of allegations to law enforcement continue to arise from these organizations.
Finding a physician or psychologist specially trained in handling the trauma caused by sexual abuse, especially when the abuse survivor is a child, can be difficult. Survivor support groups, such as Road to Recovery, a New Jersey non-profit serving all survivors of sexual abuse, can provide important medical and therapeutic provider referrals.
Obtaining proper medical and psychological treatment can be expensive for many survivors who may not have adequate medical insurance. Several non-profit groups focus extensively on helping survivors of clergy abuse to obtain treatment by providing financial assistance. Other organizations including Voice of the Faithful also financially support other survivor assistance groups.
Dealing with the aftermath of clergy sexual abuse can take a financial toll on survivors and their families. By filing a civil lawsuit against those parties responsible for the abuse, including those who covered up the abuse, survivors often can obtain compensation for these expenses. In some cases, courts have awarded additional damages for pain and suffering. The first step in holding perpetuators of abuse liable for their misconduct is to contact an experienced clergy abuse lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case.
If you or your loved one is a clergy abuse survivor, the experienced Metuchen clergy abuse lawyers at Williams Cedar are here to help. We understand the trauma caused by the sexual misconduct of a trusted clergy member and work to obtain compensation for all survivors who have suffered this trauma. Located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we proudly represent clergy sexual abuse survivors and their families throughout New Jersey. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 856-470-9777 or contact us online.