Trusted religious figures that take advantage of children violate the trust of their victims and their family members. Abused victims often seek the assistance of a clergy abuse lawyer to help them expose clergy members, and to seek justice. There are shocking details that abuse occurs in other churches and faith organizations, and not just in the Catholic Church.
Clergy Sexual Abuse and Grooming the Victim
The priest, rabbi, pastor or other trusted clergy leader grooms their victim for sexual abuse. It often begins with the fact that the clergy member knows that the victim trusts them and accepts their guidance. The offending clergy member starts the sexual abuse, which victims sometimes reveal decades later to a clergy abuse lawyer.
The abuse may include:
- The clergy member exposing themself to their victims
- Making lewd comments or committing lewd acts
- Masturbating in the presence of their victim
- Committing sexual acts such as fondling or having sex
The clergy leader may shame the victim or threaten them after the abuse. They may tell the child that the sexual abuse occurred because of their sin.
The Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse
Victims of clergy abuse are typically children and teenagers. How does a clergy member get a child to submit to abuse? There are many reports of children indicating that they were given alcohol or drugs before they were abused so that they could not resist the clergy member.
One report reveals details of a nine-year-old boy being given wine before being forced to perform sex acts by a priest. A teenage girl was given methamphetamine before being raped by her pastor.
Many victims do not report the abuse until they are adults. Reporting abuse was recently made easier, which allows a clergy abuse lawyer to help victims get justice.
The abuser may be protected by the church. Survivors may feel that there “has been no accountability,” as one survivor explained in a news report.
Clergy Abuse is Not Limited to the Catholic Church
The media seems to focus a great deal on sexual abuse committed by leaders of the Catholic Church. A contributor to the Bishop Accountability site explained that the Protestant Church is guilty of moving clergy abusers to other congregations.
A HuffPost contributor indicated that violations committed by protestant clergy do not generate the same level of outrage as cases of abusers in the Catholic Church.