Child sex abuse is a major problem within many religious institutions. This is reflected in research conducted over the past several decades. If you are the victim of child sex abuse that took place at a religious institution, now may be the right time to partner with a clergy sex abuse lawyer.
At White Law PLLC, we give clergy sex abuse cases the attention that they deserve. Our clergy sex abuse attorney can review your case and go over your legal options with you. To get started, please reach out to us.
Child Sexual Abuse Statistics that You Need to Know
In a child sex abuse case, a minor engages in sexual activity that they do not fully comprehend. Also, the minor does not consent to this activity or have the ability to provide informed consent. The minor is not prepared developmentally for the activity, either.
Many children do not report sex abuse or wait to do so. This may skew the numbers relating to child sex abuse in the United States and may lead to underreporting. Regardless, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the following statistics that illustrate the impact of child sexual abuse nationwide:
- On average, one in four girls and one in 13 boys is the victim of child sexual abuse.
- In 91% of child sexual abuse cases, the perpetrator is someone that the child or a family member knows and trusts.
- Based on data from the most recent reported year, the total lifetime economic burden of child sex abuse in the United States is at least $9.3 billion.
The team at White Law PLLC does not tolerate abuse of any kind. If you or your child is the victim of sexual abuse by a member of a religious institution, please let us know. At this point, our team can examine your case and help you decide what to do from here.
Your Fight Is Our Fight
A Closer Look at Child Sexual Abuse Losses within Religious Organizations
In terms of child sexual abuse losses by industry, religious organizations account for 30% of these losses, according to research from insurance data provider Advisen. These organizations rank second behind elementary and secondary schools (39%) relative to child sexual abuse losses. Outside of religious organizations and elementary and secondary schools, all other industries accounted for 10% of total child sex abuse losses.
Along with Advisen’s research, a study highlighted the prevalence of child sexual abuse in Christian congregations. In the study, researchers looked at data from 326 cases of alleged child sexual abuse that took place at or through activities provided by Protestant Christian congregations. Key takeaways from the study included:
- 80% of the offenders were employed in an official capacity within their respective church.
- 20% of these offenders were volunteers.
- The most frequent male offender role was a pastor at 35%.
- Offenders committed their abuse at five distinct locations: at a church, an offender’s home, a victim’s home, during an offsite church-sponsored, or offsite.
Other research indicates that 75% of pastors underestimate the level of violence within their congregations. Furthermore, approximately two-thirds of pastors speak once a year or less about abuse. When these pastors do speak up about the issue, they may be inadvertently providing support for abusers.
The Consequences of Child Sexual Abuse Can Be Significant
CDC points out that the sexual abuse of a child can affect this individual over the course of their lifetime. The abuse can cause a wide range of physical, mental, and behavioral health consequences. Some of the possible side effects of sexual abuse of children include:
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Heart disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Substance use
- Engagement in risky sexual behaviors
A child cannot change the fact that they were the victim of sexual abuse by a member of a religious organization. If the child comes forward, it is a parent or caregiver’s responsibility to do everything they can to protect them. The parent or caregiver can take legal action to ensure that their child is safe and seek any medical care to ensure that their son or daughter gets the support that they need.
In addition to pursuing criminal charges against the party responsible for child sex abuse, a parent can seek compensation. A clergy sexual abuse lawyer can answer frequently asked questions about personal injury lawsuits filed against religious organizations. They can help you decide if now is the right time to submit a request for damages.
We know how to get our clients the results they need in the toughest legal arenas.
The Victims of Child Sexual Abuse Are Prone to Future Victimization
If a child is the victim of sexual abuse by a member of a religious institution, they may be susceptible to victimization once again down the line. CDC notes that studies have shown that females exposed to child sexual abuse are up to 13 times more likely than others to be subjected to sexual violence victimization in adulthood. Moreover, these studies reveal that people who were sexually abused as children are twice as likely to be subjected to non-sexual intimate partner violence.
Ultimately, adults are responsible for nurturing positive relationships with children. Members of religious organizations can play key roles in building these relationships with kids. If a member of a religious institution sexually abuses a child, they violate this child’s trust and can damage this individual’s ability to develop and sustain meaningful relationships with others.
A clergy sexual abuse attorney fights for their client. They want to ensure that their client can hold the defendant accountable for their actions. By hiring a clergy sexual abuse lawyer who has your best interests top of their mind, you are well-equipped to stop someone who sexually abused a child from doing the same at a later time.
You will always work directly with your attorney throughout your case.
Hire an Experienced Clergy Sex Abuse Lawyer
White Law PLLC provides top-notch legal representation to child sex abuse victims and their families. We can help you file a claim against any member of a religious organization who has sexually abused a child. For more information or to request a free consultation, please contact us today.
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We Exceed Client Expectations.