The “secret” of sexual abuse of young people by clergy is a secret no longer. Thousands of victims have come forward to share their painful experiences in the media and also through the legal system.
New laws in states such as New Jersey and New York give people more time to file lawsuits, which aim to hold clergy, lay leaders and religious organizations accountable and hopefully, prevent future abuse.
Maybe you were sexually abused by a clergy member and have considered taking legal action, but aren’t certain what’s involved or thought time had run out. Once you’ve made the courageous decision to hold your abuser accountable, the next step is to talk with an attorney experienced in handling sexual abuse cases.
An Advocate by Your Side
You’ve made an appointment with an attorney, and understandably, might feel nervous. That’s a natural reaction, one that with the right attorney should go away in time. Everything you say to an attorney in your first meeting is private and confidential. He or she needs to know your story, however difficult it might be to tell, in order to start the legal process.
What Your Attorney Can Do for You
Once you decide to pursue your case, your clergy abuse attorney will file a civil lawsuit on your behalf. As with any legal action where a person has been harmed, the goal is to recover damages. There are two main types of damages your attorney can seek so you receive justice, as well as another remedy that can help others.
- Economic damages are measurable in terms of dollar value. For example, let’s say someone has difficulty holding a job because of anxiety that arose from clergy sexual abuse. An attorney could pursue lost wages that otherwise could have been earned.
- Non-economic damages refer to equally important, but less tangible, harm. A clergy sexual abuse victim might feel humiliated, be unable to form healthy romantic relationships or become depressed over losing the spiritual faith he once had.
- A court can order injunctive relief – actions a church or religious school must take to reduce the chances clergy-related sexual abuse happens to other worshippers.
None of these can take away the pain experienced by victims, but they can bring forth justice and provide accountability for these wrongs done by clergy and/or covered up by the church.
Understanding, experienced Attorneys in NJ and NY
If you’re ready to speak, Kreizer Law attorneys are available to listen. They are caring individuals who are supportive of sexual abuse victims when they seek information and throughout the legal process. Call 1‑(800)-4-JUSTICE® –1-(800)-458-7842 or contact us online to discuss your case with a Kreizer Law attorney today.