Sexual abuse basically refers to a person engaging in sexual activities with a child, man, or woman without their consent. Sexual abuse generally happens by force and from a person of authority. It is often referred to as molestation, sexual assault, harassment, or rape – depending on the experience of the victim.
Recently, there have been allegations levelled against Catholic Church’s priests for abusing children. Victims often take decades to muster courage to speak up and share details of what transpired with them in their childhood. A grand jury in August 2019 in Pennsylvania have made a report public that revealed more than 70 years of clergy abuse and the subsequent cover-ups.
It has been made public by the grand jury that around 1,000 individuals have been subjected to sexual abuse by over 300 clergy members. This is just one of the many cases and experts believe that the number of victims could go up if everyone who ever experienced clergy abuse comes forward. Various clergy members across the country, on multiple accounts, have been convicted of sexual abuse, rape, inappropriate sexual conduct, child abuse, and more.
The clergy abuse still hasn’t stopped but it takes courage to come forward and speak up against the Church. This is the reason this heinous crime is still happening. Most of the victims have been abused decades ago and they are now adults, but they only came forward after realizing that they should come do so to seek justice and prevent such clergy abuse in the future. Till now, we have heard stories of abuse, from over 18,000 survivors, at the hands of the priests from the US Catholic Church.
Make no mistake, child molestation and abuse can happen anywhere be it churches, schools, day care facilities, summer camps, and others. If you are following clergy abuse news or child abuse news lately, then you will realize that it happens where predators can easily gain access to children. It is the responsibility of the parents to look for signs and symptoms of abuse and take serious actions even if there’s a hint of abuse. Parents and legal guardians of children often ignore the signs, which should have been taken seriously.
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LAWSUITS BEING FILED
Total settlement for clergy abuse only in the United States by Catholic dioceses exceeds $3 billion but the average settlement for clergy abuse mainly depends on the situation of each case. As more victims are coming forward, we expect the average settlement for clergy abuse to go up.
If you are a victim of clergy abuse and seeking justice for the wrong that has been done to you against your will, then you can either seek compensation from Catholic Church Abuse Compensation Funds or file a lawsuit. A lawsuit may get you more compensation than what you may get from the fund, but if the Church you have sued files for bankruptcy, then that’s an entirely different scenario. If you have suffered in silence, we ask you to share your story and connect with us to see if you are eligible for compensation.