Clergy Predator Abuse Overview
Priest Abuse encompasses a range of illegal and unacceptable actions often commited against young children and adolescents by predatory clergy or other church employees involving sexual assault of varying amounts. The assault might be a one-off, non-consensual scroll barevent or it might involve several assaults inside a continuing interaction. For example, a continuing “trusting” interaction with a young child spawned by the predatory behavior of a church associate, blanketed with the trust and reverence provided to a priest, leading to non-consensual sexual attack acts of molestation.
Within most alleged Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse scenarios, the short-coming by the Church member’s superior to completely, adequately and promptly report the offense to law enforcement and other authorities, or the further failure to research, handle and resolve fully with the occurrence increases the harm on the abuse survivor, the community and potentially others. Recent Priest Sexual Abuse cases reported in the media highlight these failures, which includes “pass-the-trash” scenarios when the predator commonly a priest in the Catholic Church, is silently transferred from one church to another only to continue his predatory, criminal behavior on an unsuspecting parish community.
Priest and Clergy Sexual Assault and Retribution
Not a day goes by without a media headline coverage about sexual assault and molestation of children by pedophile clergy, or the legacy of the abuse on the victims and their families. If you are a victim of sexual assault from a priest or other clergy member, these reports are most likely to serve as an echo chamber, replaying the horror, embarrassment, guilt and various unwanted thoughts staining your wellness. Encouraged by the social movement and other pathways that encourage survivors to disclose the abuse they suffered, victims of abuse are increasingly turning to the legal system to compensate them for the life-long damage and injury they have experienced.
If you are a victim of abuse perpetrated by a priest, the impact of the abuse on your life and foundational belief system might be incalculable. Regardless, holding the responsible clergy and institutions accountable for their crimes and failures can provide a measure of justice and recompense to assault survivors. Oftentimes, survivors can assert their legal rights through confidential mediation thereby avoiding the need for litigation. However, if litigation is required, a case may be filed where the survivor can remain anonymous.
All predators, to varying amounts, use predatory methods that are generally known as grooming, focusing on a potential assault victim. Following is a list of grooming actions exhibited by predators who are in a job of authority in relation to the subordinate child.
Grooming is a major piece of a predator’s ploy. In a church setting, the priest is revered as God’s representative. In this setting, the predator frequently works closely with small numbers of children, identifying each child’s needs, weaknesses and situations. Once a target is identified, these vulnerabilities – such as violent family setting, isolation, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, attention-seeking – might be systematically leveraged in the following ways:
An assaulter will first try to gain the child’s trust. This step is most difficult to notice as religious communities are frequently tight-knit and personal interaction with clergy is commonplace. Here, the predator can pretend genuine interest in the child’s wellbeing and groeth – both emotional and religious.
As a predator establishes a trusting relationship with the potential victim and oftentimes their family members, the child will begin to rely more and more on the predator for any need it is that the priest is exploiting and fulfilling. The child will spend more time with the predator, feeling more comfortable with the relationship and counting on its stability and security. In addition to attention and affection, the possible victim may receive gifts from the priest, including valuable, intangible presents such as blessings and special recognition.
While grooming continues, the predator will try to isolate the potential target. This might result in individual counseling meetings, meals or various forms of one-on-one isolated encounters.
The predator may begin to de-sensitize the child from reacting negatively to touching, caressing and various actions that lead to sexual interaction. This could begin with crossing the physical-touch barrier, or verbally, with suggestive messages to gauge the victim’s response to the progression. This will continue until the relationship gets to one of a physical, sexual nature.
Once the sexual relationship is established, the predator will try to maintain control over the child and the continuing interaction. The priest may likely want to manipulate the child by continuing to make the victim feel special and worthy. The predator will keep exploiting the target by whatever methods needed to maintain the immoral physical relationship.
Impact on Clergy Abuse Survivors
The effect of childhood assault on the victim can be overwhelming and life-changing. priest lawsuit Waterbury Connecticut 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 difficulty creating and maintaining healthy relationships. Individualized treatment and support groups can help victims overcome these effects.
Legally, a survivor of Clergy Sexual Abuse may gain financial compensation from the predator and, more frequently, from the religious organization for its failure to shield 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 victim of Priest or Clergy Sexual Assault and would like to confidentially discuss your experience and your legal options, we are ready to speak with you.