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Priest Abuse comprises a wide-range of immoral and heinous behaviors often commited on young children and tweens by predatory priests or other church employees involving sexual abuse of varying degrees. The assault might be a one-off, non-consensual scroll barencounter or it may involve many assaults inside an ongoing interaction. For example, a continuing “trusting” interaction with a young child spawned by the predatory behavior of a clergy member, blanketed with the trust and respect imputed to a priest, leading to non-consensual sexual assault acts of molestation. In most claimed Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse scenarios, the failure by the Clergy member’s superior to completely, adequately and immediately report the crime to law enforcement and other authorities, or its further failure to research, cope with and resolve entirely with the occurrence increases the harm on the assault survivor, the community and potentially others. Recent Church Sexual Assault cases covered in the press show these short-comings, including “pass-the-trash” situations where the perpetrator oftentimes a clergy in the Catholic Church, is suddenly re-assigned from one church to another only to continue his predatory, criminal action on an unaware parish community. Priest and Clergy Sexual Abuse & Justice Not a day passes without a news announcement coverage regarding sexual assault and molestation of children by predator clergy, or the effects of the abuse on the survivors and their families. If you are a survivor of sexual assault from a priest or other clergy member, these articles are most likely to act as an echo chamber, reverberating the horror, embarrassment, guilt and other unwanted emotions hurting your well-being. Encouraged by the societal movement and other channels that encourage victims to reveal the abuse they suffered, survivors of abuse are increasingly turning to the legal system to compensate them for the lifetime damage and injury they have suffered. If you are a victim of assault commited by a member of the church, the result of the abuse on your life and core belief system might be immeasurable. Nonetheless, holding the responsible priest and institutions accountable for their crimes and failures can provide an amount of justice and recompense to assault victims. Frequently, survivors can assert their legal rights through confidential mediation thereby avoiding the need for litigation. But, if litigation is necessary, a case might be filed where the victim can remain anonymous. Abusive Behavior All predators, to varying amounts, use predatory methods which are commonly known as grooming, targeting a potential assault victim. Following is a list of grooming behaviors exhibited by predators who are in a position of authority relative to the subordinate young child. Grooming Grooming is a major piece of a predator’s ploy. In a church environment, the clergy member is revered as God’s representative. In this environment, the predator often works closely with small amounts of children, understanding each child’s needs, vulnerabilities and circumstances. Once a victim is identified, these vulnerabilities – such as tumultuous family setting, loneliness, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, attention-seeking – might be systematically leveraged in the following ways: Trust An assaulter will initially work to get the child’s trust. This strategy is most difficult to notice as church communities are often tight-knit and personal relation with clergy is commonplace. Here, the assaulter can feign sincere interest in the child’s wellness and development – both emotional and religious. Reliance As a predator creates a trusting relationship with the potential child-victim and oftentimes their family, the child will start to rely more and more on the predator for whatever need it is that the priest is exploiting and fulfilling. The victim will devote more time with the predator, feeling more and more comfortable with the relationship and counting on its stability and security. In addition to attention and affection, the potential victim might receive gifts from the predator, including valuable, intangible presents like blessings and special recognition. Isolation As the grooming progresses, the predator will work to isolate the possible victim. This could result in solo counseling meetings, meals or other methods of one-on-one isolated encounters. Sexualization The predator might begin to de-sensitize the child from reacting negatively to touching, caressing and other actions that lead to sexual interaction. This might start 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 advances to one of a physical, sexual nature. Maintenance As the sexual relationship is created, the predator will work to maintain control over the child and the continuing interaction. The predator will likely seek to manipulate the child by continuing to make the target feel special and worthy. The predator will continue to exploit the target by whatever means necessary to maintain the inappropriate physical relationship.

https://www.meneolawgroup.com/personal-injury/clergy-sexual-abuse/blog/c... on Clergy Abuse Survivors The effect of childhood abuse on the victim can be overwhelming and life-altering. Several clergy abuse 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 difficulty creating and keeping healthy relationships. Individualized therapy and support groups can help victims overcome these effects. Legally, a victim of Priest Sexual Assault can gain financial compensation from the abuser and, more frequently, from the church for its failure to shield the child from the assault, as well as failures or deficiencies in its method of reviewing and responding to reports of assault. If you are a victim 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.