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Church Abuse encompasses a range of illegal and heinous acts commonly commited on kids and tweens by predatory clergy or other church members involving sexual assault of varying amounts. The sexual assault might be a one-off, non-consensual scroll barevent or it may involve several assaults within an ongoing interaction. For example, an ongoing “trusting” relationship with a young child created by the predatory behavior of a clergy associate, blanketed by the trust and respect imputed to a priest, leading to non-consensual sexual abuse acts of molestation. In most alleged Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse scenarios, the short-coming by the Clergy member’s employer to completely, adequately and immediately disclose the crime to law enforcement and other authorities, or its further failure to research, cope with and resolve fully with the situation increases the harm on the abuse survivor, the community and potentially others.

https://www.meneolawgroup.com/personal-injury/clergy-sexual-abuse/blog/n... covered in the press show these failures, that includes “pass-the-trash” situations where the abuser frequently a priest in the Catholic Church, is suddenly moved from one location to another only to continue his predatory, criminal action on an unsuspecting parish community. Priest and Clergy Sexual Abuse and Retribution Not a day goes by without a news headline coverage about sexual abuse and molestation of young children by predator clergy, or the legacy of the assault on the victims and their families. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse from a priest or other clergy member, these reports are most likely to serve as an echo chamber, replaying the horror, embarrassment, guilt and other unwelcome thoughts harming your well-being. Encouraged by the social movement and other channels that encourage them to disclose the abuse they experienced, survivors of abuse are increasingly turning to the legal system to compensate them for the life-long harm and injury they have suffered. If you are a survivor of abuse perpetrated by a member of the church, the result of the abuse on your life and foundational belief system can be immeasurable. Nonetheless, holding the responsible person and institutions accountable for their crimes and indifference can provide an amount of justice and recompense to abuse victims. Oftentimes, survivors can assert their legal rights through confidential mediation thereby avoiding the need for litigation. However, if litigation is necessary, a case can be filed where the survivor can remain anonymous. Abusive Behavior All abusers, to varying amounts, employ predatory tricks which are commonly referred to as grooming, targeting a possible assault victim. Following is a list of grooming behaviors exhibited by predators who are in a position of authority relative to the subordinate child. Grooming Grooming is a major piece of a predator’s ploy. In a religious environment, the priest is viewed as God’s representative. In this setting, the predator frequently works closely with small amounts of children, identifying each child’s needs, vulnerabilities and situations. Once a victim is identified, these vulnerabilities – like violent family setting, loneliness, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, attention-seeking – may be systematically exploited in the following ways: Trust 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 priest can pretend genuine interest in the child’s wellness and groeth – both emotional and religious. Reliance As a predator establishes a trusting relationship with the potential victim and oftentimes their family members, the child will start to rely more and more on the predator for whatever need it is that the predator is exploiting and fulfilling. The child may devote more time with the priest, feeling more comfortable with the relationship and counting on its stability and security. In addition to attention and affection, the possible target may receive gifts from the priest, including valuable, intangible presents such as blessings and special recognition. Isolation As the grooming progresses, the predator will try to isolate the potential target. This might mean solo counseling sessions, meals or various forms of one-on-one isolated encounters. Sexualization The predator may begin to de-sensitize the child from reacting negatively to touching, caressing and various behaviors that lead to sexual interaction. This could begin with breaking the physical-touch barrier, or verbally, with inappropriate messages to determine the victim’s response to the progression. This will continue until the relationship gets to one of a physical, sexual nature. Maintenance Once the sexual relationship is created, the predator will work to keep control of the child and the continued interaction. The priest will likely want to manipulate the child by continuing to make the victim feel special and worthy. The predator will keep exploiting the victim by whatever ways needed to maintain the immoral physical relationship. Impact on Clergy Abuse Survivors The effect of childhood assault on the survivor can be overwhelming and life-changing. Several clergy assault survivors suffer from long-term 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 maintaining healthy relationships. Individualized therapy and support groups can assist victims overcome these effects. Legally, a victim of Priest Sexual Abuse can recover financial compensation from the abuser and, more frequently, from the church for its failure to protect the child from the assault, as well as failures or deficiencies in its process of reviewing and resolving to reports of assault. If you are a survivor of Priest or Clergy Sexual Assault and would like to confidentially discuss your situation and your legal options, we are ready to talk with you.

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by Dr. Radut.