Surviving sexual abuse takes a great deal of courage, fortitude, and determination. It is one of the most devastating things that can happen to anyone. It is especially damaging when the perpetrator is someone you knew and trusted. The clergy are supposed to be men of honor, integrity, and moral fastidiousness.
They are bound by the doctrines and practices of their faith to adhere to the highest ethical principle. People trust them with their most intimate secrets and depend on them for consolation in the darkest and most difficult moments in life. For a member of the clergy to betray this trust is one of the most intolerable phenomena in society.
The Grounds For Your Lawsuit
Sexual abuse is a crime. Anyone convicted of it can face jail time, fines, probation, and other sanctions. It is also possible to file a civil lawsuit against a perpetrator of sexual abuse. It is usually the only way that you can get monetary compensation for the cruelty and violence you were forced to endure.
Since sexual assault is not a cause of action in the civil code, you will need to choose another theory to hold the perpetrator liable. There is no shortage of options. Assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress are two grounds upon which to file suit.
Why You Might Have A Case
Even if the abuse took place years ago—when you were a child for instance—you can still hold the clergy who violated you accountable. The emotional and mental turmoil that came because of your abuse may have affected you throughout your life. It may have driven you into therapy or compelled you to seek other kinds of help to deal with the trauma of the event.
The pain and suffering, the stress and strain, the lost opportunities to advance yourself professionally and financially—these are all the result of the abuse, and the person who caused you so much suffering can be made to pay for it.
How A Lawyer Can Help
If you are thinking about suing a priest or minister who sexually abused you, then you should contact an Okemos personal injury attorney. One of the first things such a lawyer will have you do is come in for a sit-down meeting. They will then have you recall as much as you can of the circumstances and particulars of the abuse.
Reliving such memories can be tough, and the lawyer you choose will understand that. However, it is necessary to get some of the facts in the open so that they can decide whether you have a case.
If the clergyman you want to sue has already been convicted on a criminal sexual abuse charge, it will be easier to win the civil suit. But even if they have not, it is still possible to gather enough evidence, including the testimony of other victims, to convince a jury that you are telling the truth and that you deserve compensation.
You should not delay. An Okemos personal injury attorney at White Law can seek the justice you have been long denied. Call us today for a free consultation.
Our Okemos personal injury lawyers look to hold clergy responsible when they are guilty of sexual abuse.