Clergy Sex Abuse

Representing victims of priest abuse throughout Los Angeles

Sexual abuse by clergy happens at a startling rate. Religious organizations provide a sexual predator with the opportunity to "groom" a child in a setting where there is an implied trust. This violation of trust is one of the reasons why sexual abuse by clergy is particularly harmful to the victims.

The young members of the congregation admire the clergy and other Church leaders. Children are regularly taught to respect and trust their priests or ministers, teachers, clergy and religious leaders. Oftentimes, the children are under the constant care and supervision of the priests or ministers. It is within this context that many young worshipers are "groomed" for abuse. Generally, families are unaware of the risks to their children and regularly welcome a minister into their house for dinner or holiday festivities. Ignorant of the potential harm, parents will sometimes even encourage their child to spend time at the church, or to become altar boys.

When complaints of clergy sexual abuse are made, often the minister is merely relocated to another community. Unfortunately, the families at the new congregation are never notified about past accusations of their new priest.

Recent Victories Over Clergy Abuse

For decades, victims of childhood sexual abuse in churches nationwide have been silenced by: shame, deceptive teaching, and intimidation tactics. Disgracefully, abuse victims have been taught that scripture compels them to forgive their perpetrator and not to make reports to law enforcement. These tactics cultivate an environment of abuse and permit the wrongdoers to go without punishment.

It is the church's responsibility to properly supervise all of its clergy, priest and religious leaders. Negligently supervising the church leaders can result in a child being sexually assaulted. Failing to protect children from sexual predators in a church setting may give rise to a legal claim against the religious institution.

In recent years there have been multi-million dollar settlements to victims of current and past clergy abuse. A report in USA Today indicated that the Los Angeles Catholic Diocese alone has spent over 700 million in settlements to victims of priest sexual abuse.* This doesn't include attorney's fees and counseling costs for the victims. The effects of child sexual abuse can have immediate and long-term effects that span across an individual's physical, cognitive, interpersonal, and emotional functioning. Our >clergy abuse lawyers can help bring justice and relief to those who have suffered.

Let Our Experienced Clergy Abuse Attorneys Help

Clergy abuse is a particularly difficult category of sexual abuse. Children are taught to respect and trust their priests or ministers, teachers, coaches and scout leaders.

The criminal cases that are brought against the perpetrators are usually confined to the abuser and anyone directly responsible for hiding the activity. In a civil lawsuit, we will identify all of the people who were responsible for hiring, training and supervising the priest or clergyman. Failing to act on complaints or warning signs, hiding or protecting the abuser and otherwise failing to protect the child is also actionable. Consulting with one of our attorneys will help you understand the process for bringing a lawsuit against the abuser as well as all people neglecting their protective duty. Our extensive trial experience working on sex abuse cases has resulted in substantial settlements to our clients. It truly brings us great satisfaction that we have helped a victim become empowered to move forward with his or her life. We look forward to helping you put this tragic event behind you.

If you know of or suspect any type of sexual abuse occurring in your church, school, or workplace, please report it to the proper authorities. You can also contact the clergy abuse lawyers at Yedidsion Seber Yedidsion LLP in Los Angeles for free guidance on what step to take next.

At Yedidsion Seber Yedidsion LLP, we understand the emotional toll experienced by victims of clergy sex abuse. For a confidential, no obligation consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 310-402-2775 as soon as possible. It may have taken months or years for the victim to gather the courage to finally tell someone about the abuse. We pride ourselves in being able to balance compassion for our clients with the aggressive targeting of those responsible for this tragedy. Abuse claims have time sensitive restrictions for filling so please do not hesitate to call immediately to ensure that your legal rights are preserved.

Our clergy abuse attorneys in Los Angeles are experienced at handling sexual abuse cases against various religious institutions, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Baptist Church, the Episcopal Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), and Judaism.

Depending on the circumstances, there are time limits on filing civil lawsuits for clergy abuse. Missing an opportunity to recover financial compensation from those responsible is further victimization which can be avoided.

* Source: USA Today

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