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Clergy Sexual Abuse

Arkansas Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorney

Filing a Sexual Abuse Injury Claim Against a Religious Institution

One of the most insidious aspects of sexual abuse is the fact that it is frequently perpetrated by individuals in positions of power over others. In recent years, religious institutions—most notably the Catholic church, where more than 1,700 priests and clergy members have been accused—have come under fire for allegations of widespread sexual abuse, as well as alleged coverups by the very institutions harboring abusers.

If you are a survivor of child sexual abuse or were abused as a teen or adult by a clergy member, you have the right to seek justice. At Caddell Reynolds Law Firm, we represent individuals who have suffered immeasurable harm due to the heinous acts of others, including trusted members of the church. We understand the immense suffering you have undergone, and we are prepared to fight aggressively for the justice and recovery you deserve.

All consultations and attorney-client communications are completely confidential. Contact us today at (800) 889-6944 to speak to an Arkansas clergy sexual abuse attorney at our firm.

What Is Considered Sexual Abuse?

Numerous acts can be categorized as sexual abuse. In general, such acts occur without consent, including when consent cannot be granted (such as in the case of a child or underaged teen and an adult or when a person is intoxicated, drugged, unconscious, or cognitively unable to grant consent). Sexual abuse may involve any sexual act or lewd behavior that is unwanted or forced upon someone else. In some cases, sexual abuse may co-occur with physical abuse.

Examples of sexual abuse include:

  • Coerced sexual intercourse or sexual activities
  • Rape, including sexual intercourse when consent cannot be given
  • Sexual assault
  • Unwanted touching or kissing
  • Groping
  • Molestation
  • Flashing/exposing oneself
  • Attempted rape
  • Forced viewing of sexual acts
  • Pressuring someone into engaging in sexual activities/intercourse
  • Threatening someone to get them to engage in sexual acts
  • Forcing someone to watch sexual videos or view sexual photographs/images

Anyone can be the victim of sexual abuse by clergy members, including children, adults, girls, boys, men, and women. While it is devastating to think of sexual abuse occurring at the hands of a trusted clergy member, this can and does happen. If you are a survivor or if you believe someone you love may be a victim of sexual abuse, you may have grounds for legal action.

Who Is Responsible for Clergy Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse is incredibly harmful, physically and emotionally. Survivors often suffer depression, anxiety, low self-worth, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other serious psychological, mental, and emotional harm. They may require medical care for bodily injuries or years of counseling and therapy to address the trauma they have endured.

So, who is responsible?

While those who commit sexual abuse have broken the law and, therefore, face criminal penalties if they are convicted, they may not be the only ones legally liable for survivors’ resulting damages. Religious organizations have a responsibility to protect their members and do everything within reason to prevent abuse from occurring. However, all too often, these organizations fail to take even the most basic of steps to ensure sexual abuse does not occur or continue.

In some cases, survivors may be able to hold churches, synagogues, temples, and other religious organizations and institutions legally liable for their damages. This might be the case when the organization/institution:

  • Failed to conduct proper background checks or was otherwise negligent in hiring clergy members
  • Failed to properly and reasonably investigate sexual abuse allegations against its clergy members
  • Failed to report allegations of sexual abuse to the proper authorities and/or law enforcement agencies
  • Failed to remove clergy members accused of sexual abuse and/or stop interactions between the accused and potential victims
  • Actively covered up sexual abuse allegations or otherwise worked to protect abusers rather than those who were abused

At Caddell Reynolds Law Firm, our Arkansas clergy sexual abuse attorneys understand how to investigate these claims and work to prove negligence or wrongful conduct on the part of the religious institution or organization. We can help you understand your options and the best course of action for your specific situation, whether that’s filing a civil claim against the abuser or the institution that protected them.

You Deserve Justice. We Can Help.

For survivors of clergy sexual abuse, financial compensation does not undo the pain, suffering, and trauma they have endured. However, a successful Personal Injury claim can allow you to recover the critical financial resources you need to obtain medical treatment, receive counseling services, and achieve the sense of justice you need to heal.

Our firm is ready to stand up for you and fight for the fair recovery you are owed. We work directly with our clients throughout the legal process, offering personal attention and compassionate support every step of the way. Our attorneys have helped thousands of people through some of the most challenging times in their lives, and we are ready to help you, too.

We do not charge any attorneys’ fees unless we recover compensation for you, and there is no obligation to hire us when you reach out for a free consultation. Call (800) 889-6944 today.

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