You may be wondering what legal options you have if you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual assault in New York. Our knowledgeable legal team can assist you with getting the answers you deserve.
Our personal injury attorneys battle against clergy sexual abusers and the organizations that allow them because we've seen how terrible sexual crimes can be. Victims that have suffered this type of trauma have the right to closure and justice against the perpetrator that hurt them. To schedule your free, confidential case evaluation, contact our legal team today.
Statistics shared by the John Jay Report state that about 4% of priests in the United States during the mid-1900s onward have been accused of some sort of sexual assault and/or abuse within religious organizations. Interestingly enough, the numbers did decrease over the decades, but for no particular reason notated.
Even though it may be argued that the Catholic Church's attention to the lengthy history of sex abuse by priests affected the behavior, it is still unclear how this effect was achieved. It was also considered that the filing of substantial lawsuits against the church prompted the church to develop stronger protocols for removing sexual offenders from their ranks.
Even with this information, there have still been numerous investigations done against clergy abusers that have resulted in tons of lawsuits that are still ongoing today.
Because there is no federal law that defines what defines sexual assault or abuse, every state has its own set of laws. When it comes to the legislation around these types of offenses, however, there are certain commonalities.
In many places, "sexual assault" is considered a separate crime. Sexual assault includes acts such as rape, sexual abuse, and molestation. As a result, each of these offenses has its separate consequence. A victim of assault is a person who is forced, persuaded, or intimidated into performing sexual actions by another person. The victim does not need to be present for the act to take place. For example, if they are compelled to witness the attacker do a sexual act, this may be deemed assault.
Dating back to the 1980s, tons of reliable sources have created reports on the rising cases of sexual assault and abuse in young boys anywhere from ages of three to fourteen. Victims of this abuse have come forward and told their stories, typically years after the traumatic experience had occurred.
Communities started to notice these reports of priest sexual abuse in the 1990s, prompting a slew of investigative reporting agencies to step in. It didn't take long for reports of sexual abuse in the Catholic church to spread across North America, several South American countries, and Europe.
In a short answer, yes. Victims of sexual abuse or assault from clergy members or any other religious affiliation have the right to seek justice based on approved legislation in many states including New York. The Child Victims Act (CVA), provides a 1-year timeline for survivors of abuse to file a civil lawsuit against their perpetrator if they had suffered abuse as children.
If you or a family member has been a victim of clergy abuse or by any other religious leaders, we encourage you to take legal action against your perpetrator with our help. To learn more, contact our experienced clergy abuse lawyers today and begin your path to healing.