The clergy sexual abuse statistics, both in the US and around the world, are horrifying. 4% of Catholic priests and deacons in the US were accused of sexual abuse of a minor in the second half of the twentieth century.
It’s clear that clergy sexual abuse is a widespread issue. Many survivors will not be able to come to terms with their abuse or take action against their abusers until many years, or decades, later.
So what can you do if you are a survivor of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy?
Keep reading to find out what your options are after suffering from clergy sexual abuse.
Talk to a Lawyer
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, it is worth seeking legal advice from a professional. Find specifically a clergy sexual abuse attorney with experience in handling cases similar to yours.
The attorney will be able to set out your options: whether you want to report what happened to the police, join a class-action lawsuit, or seek compensation individually. Sexual abuse can leave survivors with a lifetime of psychological and physical trauma which deserves remuneration.
For a better understanding of the legal choices available to you, speaking to a professional sexual abuse lawyer is a good first step.
Get Some Counselling
Many survivors of sexual abuse find talking to a therapist a helpful way of processing and moving on from their trauma. Find a professional who has experience in helping those affected by sexual abuse and the clergy.
It is common to experience depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorders following sexual abuse. Speaking to a therapist or counselor can help to find ways of dealing with these disorders and minimizing their impact on your life.
It is also well worth exploring the resources in your local area. The National Sexual Assault Hotline can help to put you in touch with a service provider near you, all while staying anonymous if you wish.
Reach Out to Friends and Family
Finally, whether you were sexually abused by a member of the clergy last month or 30 years ago, talking to your trusted friends and family can be an immense help to survivors. Choose one or two confidants who will listen openly, and tell them about what you experienced.
It is crucial to build a support circle around you. Particularly if decide to pursue legal action against an individual or a religious institution, this is not something to go through alone.
Remember that as a victim of sexual abuse, you have nothing to feel guilty or ashamed of. Reach out to a friend or family member today who will have your back throughout this process.
Support Is Available if You’ve Suffered Clergy Sexual Abuse
As a survivor of clergy sexual abuse, you now know that you have different options available, including seeking compensation. It can be worth seeking advice from a lawyer if only to get a clear idea of your legal options.
If you found this article helpful, check out our other legal advice posts.