Hazleton Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer
When you pay a visit to a place of worship, you expect the religious figures to be people you can trust. They are supposed to be there to provide support and guidance, not violate you and your trust in the most unspeakable way. Sadly, clergy sexual abuse has been making headlines for years. While the primary spotlight has been on the Catholic church, the truth is that sexual abuse in the church is nondenominational. It is not limited to Catholic priests.
If you or a family member have been victimized by someone who is a religious figure, it’s important to reach out to an experienced Hazleton clergy sexual abuse lawyer. At O’Donnell Law Offices, we can help you by fighting for the rights of both minors and adults who have been victimized by a trusted religious figure.
Unfortunately, there are many people who could be abusers within religious organizations. Some of these people include:
- Sunday school teachers
- Youth leaders
- Choir directors
- Other volunteers
Sexual Abuse Victims are Often Entitled to Financial Compensation
People who have been abused by clergy, priests, or other employees of religious institutions have the right to pursue legal action in order to obtain some justice against their abuser. There are laws in Pennsylvania that support victims in their attempts to hold those people and entities responsible for their abuse and/or negligence. When you file a lawsuit, you may be entitled to recover compensation for medical treatment and counseling, as well as pain and suffering.
Sexual abuse can involve one or more of the following acts:
- Sexual assault
- Statutory rape
- Touching without consent
- Sexual threats or harassment
- Lewd acts or indecent exposure
Child Molestation in Religious Organizations
Sadly, much of the sexual abuse plaguing religious organizations involves children and teens. It’s unfathomable to think about a child undergoing that kind of traumatic experience at a young age, but the reality is that these tragic events take place. In some cases, the child may not even remember the abuse until they get older and something triggers a memory. These events can be so traumatic that a child represses the memories until something causes them to remember those events as an adult.
Despite the horror of finding out years down the line that your child was the victim of sexual abuse in the church, there is still help available. It doesn’t remove years of pain and the memories of these events, but the ability to bring legal action against those responsible for these heinous acts can help. Abusers and the institutions that protect these predators need to be held accountable.
It’s important to get your child help if you discover he or she was a victim of clergy sexual abuse. The effects of sexual abuse can linger for years and manifest themselves into other problems like substance abuse, depression, or self-harm. Children may become overly sexualized or start engaging in unsafe behaviors.
Contact a Hazleton Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been a victim of sexual abuse by a trusted individual who was part of a religious organization, contact O’Donnell Law Offices today to schedule an initial consultation.