Abuse among the clergy is an emerging and horrific problem, not just in Catholic churches but in many faiths. Being betrayed by trusted individuals can rock your faith and personal life to their very foundations, and you might feel that there’s nowhere to turn. Thankfully, the federal government and individual states have channels set up to report and find assistance for clergy abuse victims. This includes legal routes for getting monetary recompense for this abuse, which will require finding Catholic Church abuse lawyers as well as support groups and a therapist to help you get on with your life.
The first step in resolving the trauma of abuse is to find a counselor or therapist that can help you work through what happened. In many cities there are survivor groups, group therapy and psychologists that are trained to handle this specific type of abuse. Finding these resources is simple; a quick Google search for “clergy abuse resources” with your state should pull up your local office as the first non-ad result.
Report the abuse
If you haven’t yet reported the abuse, it may take some time to build up the courage to do so, which is why therapy and group meetings are the first step. After you feel comfortable going forward with your story, contact your state’s attorney general and file a complaint. Because of the horrific and widespread nature of Catholic Church abuse, each state has a team specific to handling these types of cases.
What’s extremely important is that you don’t go to the church itself to seek resolution — they have a history of coverups and ignoring these issues.
Your attorney general can start on the process of bringing abusers to light. Even if the occurrence was years in the past, that doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to justice.
Contact a lawyer
The church has covered up abuse for decades and it’s only right that they pay for these crimes. A legal team that is trained in this area can help you gain the most from your lawsuit. Having a support system with a therapist and other survivors can help make this frightening, daunting process a little more comfortable. Catholic Church abuse lawyers are your best bet in finding resolution.
You’re not alone
Though it can feel isolating and it’s certainly painful, many people have been victims of the Catholic Church, and it’s important to lean on one-another for support. It takes an incredible amount of courage to speak up about abuse like this, especially when your family are still active members of the church.
You are strong, you are loved and you will get through this – you need only ask for help.