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Priest Sexual Abuse includes a wide-range of immoral and unacceptable actions commonly perpetrated against kids and teens by pedophilic clergy or other church employees involving sexual assault of varying degrees. The abuse can be a one-time, non-consensual scroll barevent or it can include several assaults inside a continuing interaction. For instance, a continuing “trusting” interaction with a young child spawned by the predatory intent of a church associate, blanketed with the trust and respect imputed to a priest, leading to non-consensual sexual abuse acts of molestation.
In most claimed Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse scenarios, the short-coming by the Clergy member’s employer to entirely, adequately and promptly disclose the offense to law enforcement and other authorities, or its continuing failure to research, cope with and resolve fully with the occurrence increases the effects on the assault survivor, the community and possibly others. Current Clergy Sexual Abuse cases covered in the press uncover these short-comings, that includes “pass-the-trash” scenarios when the abuser commonly a clergy in the Catholic Church, is secretly moved from one location to another merely to continue his predatory, criminal behavior on an unaware parish community.
Priest and Clergy Sexual Abuse & Justice
Not a week goes by without a media headline reporting about sexual assault and molestation of children by predator clergy, or the aftermath of the abuse on the victims and their families. If you are a survivor of sexual assault from a priest or other clergy member, these stories are likely to serve as an echo chamber, replaying the horror, shame, guilt and various unwelcome feelings harming your wellness. Encouraged by the societal movement and other channels that encourage survivors to reveal the assault they suffered, victims of assault are more frequently employing the legal system to compensate them for the lifelong damage and injury they have suffered.
If you are a victim of assault perpetrated by a member of the church, the impact of the abuse on your life and foundational belief system may be immeasurable. Regardless, holding the responsible clergy and institutions accountable for their crimes and failures may offer a measure of justice and recompense to assault victims. Frequently, victims can assert their legal rights through confidential mediation therein avoiding the need for litigation. But, if litigation is necessary, a case might be filed where the plaintiff can remain anonymous.
abused in church Massachusetts , to varying degrees, employ predatory tactics which are commonly known as grooming, tracking a potential assault victim. Below is a survey of grooming actions used by predators who are in a position of authority relative to the subordinate young child.
Grooming is a major piece of a predator’s strategy. In a church environment, the clergy member 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 circumstances. Once a target is located, these vulnerabilities – like violent family setting, loneliness, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, attention-seeking – can be systematically leveraged in the following ways:
A predator will initially try to get the child’s trust. This step is most difficult to discern as religious communities are frequently tight-knit and personal relation with clergy is commonplace. Here, the assaulter can pretend genuine interest in the child’s wellness and groeth – both emotional and religious.
As a predator creates a trusting relationship with the potential target and oftentimes their family, the child will start to rely more and more on the predator for whatever need it is that the priest is exploiting and fulfilling. The victim may spend more time with the priest, feeling more comfortable with the relationship and counting on its stability and security. In addition to attention and affection, the potential target may receive presents from the priest, including valuable, intangible gifts like blessings and special recognition.
While grooming continues, the predator may work to isolate the possible target. This could mean solo counseling meetings, meals or other methods of one-on-one isolated moments.
The predator will begin to de-sensitize the target from reacting negatively to contact, caressing and various actions that lead to sexual interaction. This could start with crossing the physical-touch barrier, or verbally, with inappropriate messages to determine the victim’s response to the progression. This will escalate until the relationship gets to one of a physical, sexual nature.
As 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 victim by continuing to make the target feel special and worthy. The predator will keep exploiting the target by whatever ways needed to maintain the immoral physical relationship.
Impact on Clergy Abuse Survivors
The effect of childhood abuse on the victim can be overwhelming and life-changing. Several priest assault survivors suffer from long-term effects of the assault 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 can gain financial compensation from the abuser and, more frequently, from the church for its failure to protect 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 survivor 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.