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Surviving Victims of Child Sexual Abuse by Priests Still Have Scars
With the numerous reports of child sexual abuse by priests and clergy of the Catholic Church recently, there are many victims still grappling with what happened to them years later. The long term effects of this type of abuse can be different for each person, be complex in nature, and be devastating.

Many people who have come forth with evidence of being abused by clergy in the Catholic Church have stated that although some type of settlement is helpful, what is more important to them is that the church take accountability for what happened to them. As the Catholic Church begins to take strides to transparency, this will hopefully help the healing process along for victims.

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Unfortunately, even when a church or diocese takes responsibility for the actions of their priests, the victim still has a long road to recover. There are numerous long term effects, such as:

Body Image - Many victims of child sexual abuse have a poor body image. Some professionals believe this is due to the body of the child being used as an instrument for the other’s pleasure.

Emotional Issues - Many emotional issues come about due to the abuse. These can include guilt, shame, isolation, low self-esteem, and depression. Young victims can’t process what is happening to them and in turn feel that somehow it is their fault. They often know the pedophile and aren’t sure how to react.

Sexual Promiscuity - It’s common for sexually abused children to grow up and be sexually promiscuous or even to question their own sexuality. These things typically manifest because the adult never dealt emotionally with what happened to them as a child.

Eating Disorders - Victims of child sexual abuse often exhibit eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. These are often a symptom of pushing down the feelings of low self-worth.

Intimacy Issues - Intimacy problems often manifest later in life, although children may also shut down and not want to get close to anyone.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse - Adult victims of child sexual abuse often try to drown their feelings with drugs or alcohol. It allows the adult an escape from thinking about what happened to them.

Self-Destructive Behavior - Many survivors engage in self-destructive behaviors, up to and including suicide.

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After the recent Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report which was released in 2018, many states are rethinking their Statute of Limitations laws.  Hopefully with enough public pressure, a nationwide movement will begin to make it easier for victims to come forward and receive justice.

What is Statue of Limitations Reform?

A statute of limitations (SOL) is the amount of time a person has to initiate a lawsuit and the it typically starts at the time the offense or injury occurred. Timeframes for SOL vary by state and offense, so you can have a different timeframe for a personal injury case compared to a breech of contract case, etc. It all depends on state laws. For cases where an individual is under the age of 18, the statutes often don’t start being timed (or tolled) until they become an adult. Tolling is simply stopping the clock until something happens, such as a child turning 18.

Why the Change for Child Victims of Sexual Abuse?

There’s no room for argument, child sexual abuse does both mental and physical damage to a child. There is a call for the SOL to be reformed because many people feel the current statutes are too short. Some people feel the scales of justice are tipped in favor of the predators and not the victims.

Dealing with this type of abuse can be difficult and frightening at best. There are many reasons a child may not have told someone what has happened to them. They may feel they are somehow at fault, they are embarrassed, or they just want to forget the whole thing ever happened. As they get older and more able to deal with what happened, many feel the need to be heard. Prior to a reform, they may have used all the time allowed in the SOL just dealing with their feelings and pain. The reform is meant to change that.

Church Abuse Lawyer

Stepping Forward Can Help Others

When a child is the victim of a sexual predator, they often feel alone and isolated. They may think they are the only one it has happened to. Quite often, this isn’t the case. Predators tend to have numerous victims and if one steps up and tells others what has happened, it can make it easier for others to come forward, knowing they are not alone. This is beneficial for someone who may have been hurt by the same person. If the first person’s case falls outside the SOL, the second person’s case may not and the predator can pay for what he has done in at least one case.

The SOL reform will give more victims the ability to see justice and is intended to keep more sexual predators off of the streets.

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Call Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 for a Free, Confidential Consultation.  No Legal Fees Unless You Receive Settlement. 

Church Abuse Lawyer - Catholic Church Sexual Assault Settlements

If you were sexually abused as a child by a priest, deacon or any other member of the Catholic Church, you are not aloneWe are here to help you.  Contact Vanderhyde Law today.  Fill out our confidential online contact form or call Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 and a Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your possible case.   Help is available nationwide.  There is no cost to investigate and there are no legal fees unless you receive financial compensation.  Making the call is sometimes the hardest step, but it is often a necessary step on the road to healing.

Reasons to call

  • Hold the church and priests accountable
  • Prevent this from happening to someone else
  • Help with the road to recovery – settlement money can provide financial security for you.  It can also help pay for therapy, rehabilitation, and medical treatment

Please Call Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 or fill out our confidential contact form and a lawyer will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your case.  Church Abuse Lawyer