Making the decision to seek justice after experiencing clergy sexual abuse as a child is one of the bravest things a survivor can do. Holding the perpetrators of the abuse responsible for their actions can be an important step in the healing process.
Dealing with the aftermath of childhood clergy abuse can be financially draining for many families. The trauma sustained by survivors can result in the need for years of medical and psychological treatment, family counseling, prescription drug costs, and lost wages. Individuals who suffered clergy abuse as children may be entitled to compensation for their financial expenses and other non-economic damages such as emotional distress by filing a civil lawsuit against all potentially responsible parties. By working with an experienced clergy abuse lawyer who understands the emotional and financial toll abuse has on families, survivors can begin to move on knowing their needs are accounted for and justice has been served.
When childhood sexual abuse is committed by a clergy member, several parties may be held accountable, other than the individual priest or deacon who committed the abuse. In many cases, the priest’s superiors worked hard to cover up the abuse by moving the accused to other parishes or pressuring families not to report the abuse to law enforcement. If a survivor can show that a pastor or bishop actively concealed the abuse, they may be held legally responsible, along with the diocese they served.
Church organizations, including dioceses, may be liable for negligent acts or failures to act that result in sexual abuse. Examples of such negligence include failing to perform adequate background checks and failing to investigate prior allegations of abuse.
The law of each state sets forth a specific amount of time in which a survivor must file any lawsuit. In the past, many survivors of clergy sexual abuse have been barred from bringing lawsuits against their abusers due to expired statutes of limitations. In some states, including New Jersey, survivors of childhood sexual abuse now have a limited “window” of time in which to file lawsuits, regardless of the amount of time that has passed.
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused by a member of the clergy, you are not alone. The experienced clergy abuse lawyers at Williams Cedar believe you and are ready stand with you as you seek the justice you deserve. Our attorneys work tirelessly to obtain compensation for clergy abuse survivors and their families. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we proudly represent abuse survivors nationwide and 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 a free, confidential consultation with an experienced Metuchen clergy abuse lawyer today, call us at 215-557-0099 or 856-470-9777 or contact us online.