Reporting abuse from representatives of religious institutions in Michigan can be difficult and emotional. However, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. If you or someone you know has experienced abuse within a religious institution, you have available resources for help.
Michigan offers various supportive systems to victims. If someone is in immediate danger or if the abuse is ongoing, call 911 or your local law enforcement immediately. You can also report abusers to the Michigan Department of Attorney General or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
At White Law PLLC, we offer compassionate legal representation to victims and empower them to take the necessary steps toward justice and healing. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with our clergy sex abuse lawyers.
Call the Police
If you believe that clergy abuse is currently taking place, calling 911 or your local police department is the fastest way to get help and prevent further harm. The police are trained to handle emergencies and can dispatch officers to where the abuse is happening.
They can also help injured victims get medical attention. Once the immediate danger has been addressed, you can follow up with other authorities, such as the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, for additional support.
Remember that abuse or neglect is not the victim’s fault; you deserve to be heard and believed. Taking steps to report abuse can be a courageous and empowering act, and you deserve compassion and support every step of the way.
Your Fight Is Our Fight
Contact the Michigan Department of Attorney General
The Michigan Department of Attorney General launched a tip line to gather accounts of sexual abuse within the church institution from locals. You can reach the live investigation line during weekdays or email with any relevant information.
You can also submit an online form with the following fields:
- Name (optional)
- Phone number (optional)
- Email (optional)
While you can fill out your name and contact information, you can also submit your comments anonymously; simply skip the fields that are marked optional. By reporting clergy sex abuse, you are not only taking a step towards healing and closure for yourself, but you are also potentially protecting others from future harm.
The Michigan Department of Attorney General has the resources and authority to investigate crimes of this nature. They have a dedicated team of professionals trained to handle these cases with sensitivity and care. These experts are committed to seeking justice for victims of abuse.
Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse
Under Michigan’s Child Protection Law, certain professionals must report child neglect or abuse suspicions to Centralized Intake (CI) at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
These individuals have established relationships with children based on their profession. Mandated reporters include:
- School counselors
- Social workers
If they suspect abuse, these (and other) professionals should make an immediate report to CI by phone or through the online reporting platform. Within 72 hours of a verbal report via telephone, the mandated reporter must file a written report (DHS-3200). This additional written report is not required if the initial report was submitted online.
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Call the National Sexual Abuse Hotline
It is a common trait of all abusers (be they clergy members or other predators) to make their victims feel vulnerable and helpless. As a result, victims may find it difficult to take action and unsure where to turn for support.
You do not have to suffer in silence. Many organizations offer safe platforms where victims may talk to experts anonymously. For example, the National Sexual Assault Hotline invites everyone who has never talked about what happened to tell their story anonymously.
This service provides confidential 24/7 support for those in need of assistance. The individuals offering support on the line can also help address any medical or mental health concerns and direct you toward trusted local professionals.
Remember that you do not have to suffer in silence. By speaking up and reporting abuse, you take a courageous step toward holding abusers accountable and preventing future harm.
You will always work directly with your attorney throughout your case.
Why You Shouldn’t Report Clergy Sexual Abuse With the Church Institution
While reporting abuse within the church institution is possible, it is best not to pursue this avenue. Instead, report the abuse to external and independent institutions or organizations.
It is generally not recommended to report clergy sexual abuse within the church because the institution may prioritize protecting its reputation and minimizing scandal over the victim’s needs. This can lead to a lack of accountability and transparency in how the institution responds to allegations of abuse.
In some cases, church officials may attempt to handle abuse allegations internally rather than report them to law enforcement or outside authorities. This can create a situation where abuse is not properly investigated, and the perpetrator may be allowed to continue to harm others.
Additionally, reporting abuse within the church institution can be emotionally challenging for survivors. They may feel pressure to keep silent or face retaliation or ostracism from church community members.
Seek Legal Guidance for Your Michigan Clergy Sexual Abuse Case
Abuse within religious institutions can be a challenging form of trauma to navigate. Victims may feel conflicted about reporting abuse from an organization they have trusted. White Law PLLC offers a secure environment where your story is heard.
We have a proven track record of successfully resolving sexual abuse cases. Our lead attorney has represented victims in nationally recognized cases, including clergy abuse victims and hundreds of Boy Scouts of America victims.
Contact us to schedule a free case review and discuss your case with our compassionate legal team. We will offer you all the resources you need to fight abuse.
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