Clergy Assault Overview

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Priest Sexual Abuse encompasses a wide-range of immoral and improper acts frequently perpetrated on kids and adolescents by predatory priests or other church employees involving sexual abuse of varying amounts. The sexual assault can be a one-off, non-consensual scroll barevent or it can include numerous assaults within a continuing interaction. For instance, an ongoing “trusting” relationship with a child created by the predatory behavior of a church associate, cloaked with the trust and respect imputed to a priest, leading to non-consensual sexual attack acts of molestation.

Within nearly all alleged Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse scenarios, the short-coming by the Church member’s superior to completely, adequately and immediately report the offense to police and other authorities, or its continuing failure to investigate, contend with and deal fully with the occurrence increases the effects on the abuse survivor, the community and possibly others. Current Priest Sexual Abuse cases covered in the media highlight these short-comings, including “pass-the-trash” scenarios when the predator frequently a priest in the Catholic Church, is quietly re-assigned from one church to another only to continue his predatory, criminal behavior on an unaware parish community.

Priest and Clergy Sexual Assault & Justice
Not a week goes by without a media announcement reporting regarding sexual abuse and molestation of children by pedophile priests, or the aftermath of the assault on the victims and their families. If abused by priest New York are a victim of sexual abuse from a priest or other clergy member, these stories are likely to act as an echo chamber, reverberating the horror, shame, guilt and various unwanted emotions hurting your wellness. Encouraged by the social movement and other pathways that encourage them to disclose the abuse they suffered, survivors of assault are more frequently turning to the legal system to compensate them for the lifetime damage and injury they have suffered.

If you are a survivor of abuse perpetrated by a member of the church, the result of the abuse on your life and foundational belief system might be incalculable. Regardless, holding the responsible church and institutions to blame for their crimes and indifference might offer an amount of justice and recompense to assault survivors. Commonly, victims can assert their legal rights in confidential mediation thereby avoiding the need for litigation. But, if litigation is necessary, a motion can be filed where the plaintiff can remain anonymous.

Abusive Behavior
All predators, to varying degrees, use predatory tricks which are generally referred to as grooming, aiming at a potential assault victim. Following is a survey of grooming actions used by predators who are in a position of authority in relation to the subordinate young child.

Grooming
Grooming is a major piece of a predator’s ploy. In a religious environment, the clergy member is revered as God’s representative. Within this setting, the predator frequently works closely with small amounts of children, understanding each child’s needs, weaknesses and circumstances. Once a target is identified, these vulnerabilities – such as tumultuous family setting, isolation, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, attention-seeking – might be systematically leveraged in the following ways:

Trust
A predator will first try to get the child’s trust. This step is most difficult to notice as religious communities are often tight-knit and personal interaction with clergy is commonplace. Here, the predator can pretend genuine concern in the child’s wellness and development – both emotional and religious.

Reliance
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 and more comfortable with the relationship and counting on its stability and security. In addition to attention and affection, the possible target may receive gifts from the predator, including valuable, intangible gifts such as blessings and special recognition.
Isolation
As the grooming continues, the predator may work to isolate the potential victim. This may result in single counseling sessions, meals or various methods of one-on-one isolated encounters.
Sexualization
The predator may start to de-sensitize the child from reacting negatively to contact, caressing and various actions that lead to sexual interaction. This might begin 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.
Maintenance
As the sexual relationship is established, the predator will work to keep control over the child and the continuing interaction. The priest may likely seek to manipulate the victim by continuing to make the victim feel special and worthy. The predator will continue to exploit the victim by whatever means needed to maintain the inappropriate physical relationship.

Impact on Clergy Abuse Survivors

The impact of childhood assault on the survivor can be overwhelming and life-changing. Many priest assault survivors suffer from lifelong effects of the abuse including depression, disturbed sleeping, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse and eating patterns, and problems establishing and keeping vibrant relationships. Individualized treatment and support groups can assist survivors overcome these effects.

Legally, a victim of Clergy Sexual Abuse can recover financial compensation from the predator and, more frequently, from the religious organization for its failure to shield the child from the assault, as well as failures or deficiencies in its process of reviewing and responding to reports of abuse. 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 prepared to talk with you.