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Clergy Abuse – Overview

από Luz Whitlam (2019-09-05)


Clergy Sexual Abuse includes a wide-range of illegal and heinous actions often perpetrated on children and teens by predatory clergy or other church members involving sexual abuse of varying amounts. The abuse can be a one-off, non-consensual scroll barevent or it can involve many acts inside a continuing interaction. For instance, an ongoing "trusting" relationship with a child spawned by the predatory intent of a church associate, cloaked by the trust and reverence imputed to a priest, leading to non-consensual sexual attack acts of molestation.

Within all alleged Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse scenarios, the failure by the Clergy member’s employer to completely, adequately and immediately disclose the offense to police and other authorities, or the further failure to investigate, cope with and deal entirely with the occurrence increases the harm on the assault survivor, the community and potentially others. Recent Clergy Sexual Assault cases reported in the press uncover these failures, which includes "pass-the-trash" scenarios when the predator commonly a clergy in the Catholic Church, is suddenly moved from one parish to another only to continue his predatory, criminal action on an unaware parish community.

Priest and Clergy Sexual Assault and Retribution
Not a week passes without a media headline reporting regarding sexual abuse and molestation of children by predator priests, or the legacy of the assault on the survivors and their families. If you are a victim of sexual abuse from a priest or other clergy member, these stories are likely to act as an echo chamber, reverberating the horror, embarrassment, guilt and various unwelcome thoughts staining your well-being. Encouraged by the social movement and other channels that encourage victims to reveal the abuse they experienced, victims of abuse are increasingly employing the legal system to compensate them for the lifetime damage and injury they have experienced.

If you are a survivor of assault perpetrated by a member of the church, the impact of the abuse on your life and core belief system might be immeasurable. Regardless, holding the responsible church and institutions to blame for their crimes and failures may provide a measure of justice and recompense to abuse victims. Commonly, victims can assert their legal rights in confidential mediation therein avoiding the need for litigation. However, if litigation is necessary, a case might be filed where the plaintiff can remain anonymous.

Abusive Behavior

All predators, to varying degrees, employ predatory tactics that are commonly known as grooming, aiming at a potential assault victim. Following is a survey of grooming actions used by predators who are in a position of authority relative to the subordinate young child.

Grooming

Grooming is a significant part of a predator’s ploy. In a church setting, the clergy member is revered as God’s representative. Within this environment, the predator frequently works closely with small amounts of children, understanding each child’s needs, weaknesses and situations. Once a victim is located, these vulnerabilities – such as violent family setting, loneliness, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, attention-seeking – can be systematically exploited in the following ways:

Trust

An assaulter will first try to gain the child’s trust. This step is most difficult to discern as church communities are often tight-knit and personal relation with clergy is commonplace. Here, the predator can feign genuine concern in the child’s wellbeing and groeth – both emotional and religious.

Reliance

As a predator creates a trusting relationship with the potential victim and oftentimes their family, the child will begin to rely more and more on the predator for any need it is that the predator is exploiting and fulfilling. The victim will spend more time with the priest lawsuit Brooklyn, feeling more comfortable with the relationship and counting on its stability and security. In addition to attention and affection, the potential target might receive gifts from the priest, including valuable, intangible gifts such as blessings and special recognition.

Isolation

As the grooming progresses, the predator may work to isolate the possible target. This may result in solo counseling sessions, meals or other forms of one-on-one isolated encounters.

Sexualization

The predator may start to de-sensitize the child from reacting negatively to touching, caressing and various behaviors that lead to sexual interaction. This might begin with breaking 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.

Maintenance

Once the sexual relationship is created, the predator will try to maintain control of the child and the continuing interaction. The priest will likely want to manipulate the child by continuing to make the victim feel special and worthy. The predator will keep exploiting the victim by whatever methods necessary to maintain the inappropriate physical relationship.

Impact on Clergy Abuse Survivors

The effect of childhood assault on the survivor can be severe and life-changing. 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 maintaining healthy relationships. Individualized treatment and support groups can help survivors overcome these effects.

Legally, a survivor of Priest Sexual Abuse can recover financial compensation from the abuser and, more frequently, from the religious organization for its failure to protect 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 survivor of Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse and would like to confidentially discuss your experience and your legal options, we are ready to talk with you.