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Church Abuse includes a range of illegal and improper actions often perpetrated against young children and adolescents by pedophilic priests or other church members involving sexual abuse of varying degrees. The sexual assault may be a single, non-consensual scroll barevent or it may involve several acts within a continuing interaction. For instance, a continuing “trusting” relationship with a young child created by the predatory intent of a church member, blanketed with the trust and respect provided to a member of the clergy, leading to non-consensual sexual assault acts of molestation. Within all claimed Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse situations, the short-coming by the Church member’s superior to completely, adequately and promptly report the offense to police and other authorities, or its continuing failure to research, cope with and deal entirely with the occurrence increases the effects on the abuse survivor, the community and potentially others. Current Church Sexual Assault cases reported in the press show these failures, which includes “pass-the-trash” scenarios when the perpetrator frequently a priest in the Catholic Church, is suddenly transferred from one parish to another only to continue his predatory, criminal action on an innocent parish community. Priest and Clergy Sexual Assault & Justice Not a day passes without a news headline coverage regarding sexual abuse and molestation of young children by pedophile priests, 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 likely to act as an echo chamber, replaying the horror, embarrassment, guilt and other unwanted thoughts harming your wellness. Encouraged by the societal movement and other pathways that encourage them to disclose the abuse they experienced, survivors of assault are increasingly employing the legal system to compensate them for the lifetime harm and injury they have suffered. If you are a survivor of assault perpetrated by a priest, the result of the abuse on your life and foundational belief system might be immeasurable. Nonetheless, holding the responsible priest and institutions to blame for their crimes and indifference can offer an amount of justice and recompense to abuse survivors. Commonly, victims can assert their legal rights in confidential mediation therein avoiding the need for litigation. However, if litigation is necessary, a motion might be filed where the plaintiff can remain anonymous.

https://www.meneolawgroup.com/personal-injury , to varying degrees, use predatory methods that are generally known as grooming, tracking a potential assault victim. Below is a list of grooming actions exhibited by predators who are in a job of authority in relation to the subordinate child. Grooming Grooming is a major piece of a predator’s ploy. In a church environment, the clergy member is viewed as God’s representative. In this environment, the predator often works closely with small numbers of children, understanding each child’s needs, weaknesses and circumstances. Once a target is located, these vulnerabilities – like tumultuous family setting, loneliness, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, attention-seeking – may be systematically leveraged in the following ways: Trust A predator will initially try to get the child’s trust. This strategy is most difficult to discern as church communities are frequently tight-knit and personal interaction with clergy is commonplace. Here, the priest can feign sincere concern in the child’s wellbeing and development – both emotional and religious. Reliance As a predator establishes a trusting relationship with the potential victim and oftentimes their family, the child will begin to rely more and more on the predator for whatever 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 counting on its stability and security. In addition to attention and affection, the possible target may receive presents from the priest, including valuable, intangible presents like blessings and special recognition. Isolation As the grooming progresses, the predator may try to isolate the potential victim. This may result in solo counseling sessions, meals or various methods of one-on-one isolated encounters. Sexualization The predator will start to de-sensitize the child from reacting negatively to touching, caressing and various behaviors that lead to sexual interaction. This could begin with crossing 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 As the sexual relationship is established, the predator will work to keep control over the child and the continued interaction. The priest may likely want to manipulate the victim by continuing to make the target feel special and worthy. The predator will keep exploiting the target by whatever means needed to maintain the immoral physical relationship. Impact on Clergy Abuse Survivors The effect of childhood assault on the victim can be severe and life-altering. Several priest 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 establishing and keeping healthy relationships. Individualized therapy and support groups can help victims overcome these effects. Legally, a victim of Clergy Sexual Abuse may gain financial compensation from the abuser and, more commonly, from the church for its failure to shield the victim from the abuse, as well as failures or deficiencies in its process of reviewing and responding to reports of assault. If you are a survivor of Priest or Clergy Sexual Assault and would like to confidentially discuss your experience and your legal options, we are ready to talk with you.

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by Dr. Radut.