Clergy Assault Overview

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Priest Sexual Abuse includes a wide-range of illegal and unacceptable actions frequently commited against kids and adolescents by pedophilic clergy or other church members involving sexual abuse of varying degrees. The sexual assault might be a single, non-consensual scroll barevent or it might include several assaults within an ongoing interaction. For instance, an ongoing “trusting” interaction with a child spawned by the predatory intent of a clergy associate, cloaked with the trust and respect provided to a member of the clergy, leading to non-consensual sexual attack acts of molestation.

Within nearly all claimed Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse situations, the short-coming by the Church member’s employer to completely, adequately and immediately disclose the offense to police and other authorities, or its further failure to research, contend with and resolve fully with the situation amplifies the harm on the assault survivor, the community and potentially others. Current Church Sexual Abuse cases reported in the press show these failures, that includes “pass-the-trash” situations when the abuser commonly a clergy in the Catholic Church, is secretly transferred from one location to another only to continue his predatory, criminal behavior on an unsuspecting parish community.

Priest and Clergy Sexual Assault and Retribution
Not a week goes by without a news headline coverage regarding sexual abuse and molestation of children by predator clergy, or the effects of the assault on the victims and their families. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse from a priest or other church member, these articles are most likely to serve as an echo chamber, replaying the horror, embarrassment, guilt and various unwanted thoughts harming your well-being. Encouraged by the social movement and other channels that encourage them to disclose the abuse they experienced, survivors of assault are more frequently turning to the legal system to compensate them for the lifetime damage and injury they have experienced.

If church lawsuit Connecticut are a survivor of assault commited by a member of the clergy, the impact of the abuse on your life and foundational belief system may be immeasurable. Regardless, holding the responsible church and institutions to blame for their crimes and indifference may offer an amount of justice and recompense to abuse victims. Oftentimes, victims can leverage their legal rights in confidential mediation therein avoiding the need for litigation. But, if litigation is necessary, a case may be filed where the victim can remain anonymous.

Predatory Behavior
All predators, to varying degrees, employ predatory methods which are generally referred to as grooming, tracking a potential assault victim. Following is a survey of grooming behaviors exhibited by predators who are in a job of authority relative to the subordinate child.

Grooming is a major piece of a predator’s ploy. In a religious environment, the clergy member is held as God’s representative. Within this setting, the predator frequently works closely with small amounts of children, understanding each child’s needs, weaknesses and circumstances. Once a target is located, these vulnerabilities – such as violent family setting, loneliness, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, attention-seeking – might be systematically exploited in the following ways:

An assaulter will first work to get the child’s trust. This step is most difficult to notice as religious communities are frequently tight-knit and personal relation with clergy is commonplace. Here, the assaulter can pretend sincere interest in the child’s wellness and development – both emotional and religious.

As a predator establishes a trusting relationship with the potential victim and oftentimes their family, the child will start to rely more and more on the predator for any need it is that the predator is exploiting and fulfilling. The victim will devote increased time with the priest, feeling more comfortable with the relationship and relying on its stability and security. In addition to attention and affection, the possible target might receive gifts from the predator, including valuable, intangible presents like blessings and special recognition.
As the grooming progresses, the predator might work to isolate the possible victim. This might result in solo counseling meetings, meals or various methods of one-on-one isolated encounters.
The predator might start to de-sensitize the child from reacting negatively to touching, caressing and various behaviors that lead to sexual interaction. This might begin with crossing the physical-touch barrier, or verbally, with inappropriate messages to determine the victim’s response to the progression. This will escalate until the relationship gets to one of a physical, sexual nature.
Once the sexual relationship is created, the predator will try to maintain control of the child and the continuing interaction. The priest may likely want to manipulate the child by continuing to make the target feel special and worthy. The predator will continue to exploit the victim by whatever ways necessary to maintain the inappropriate physical relationship.

Impact on Clergy Abuse Survivors

The effect of childhood assault on the survivor can be overwhelming and life-altering. Several clergy assault survivors suffer from lifelong effects of the abuse including depression, disturbed sleeping, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse and eating patterns, and problems creating and keeping healthy relationships. Individualized therapy and support groups can assist victims overcome these effects.

Legally, a victim of Priest Sexual Abuse may gain financial compensation from the predator and, more commonly, from the church for its failure to protect the victim from the assault, as well as failures or deficiencies in its process of reviewing and responding to reports of assault. If you are a victim of Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse and would like to confidentially discuss your experience and your legal options, we are prepared to speak with you.