For the countless survivors of clergy sexual abuse, their trauma is something they will bear for the rest of their lives. Many clergy members in the Catholic Church abused their positions of power to manipulate and take advantage of children. It’s time to end clergy abuse.
If you have survived sexual abuse committed by a member (or members) of the Catholic Church, Sokolove Law is here to help. Contact us today for a completely free legal consultation by filling out the form on this page. Our team is standing by to listen to your story.
Dating back to the 1950s and 60s, documented cases of sexual abuse involving the Catholic Church have sent shockwaves through society. Recently, however, things appear to have reached a boiling point. Beginning in Boston in the 1990s, with the revelations of a massive sexual abuse scandal involving an entire network of priests, more and more survivors step forward each year to share their stories.
In 2016, The Archdiocese of New York established a compensation program for clergy abuse survivors.
A year later, a groundbreaking Pennsylvania Grand Jury report showed:
- Leaders of the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania covered up more than 300 cases of child sexual abuse by priests over the course of 70 years.
- Over 1,000 survivors of sexual abuse were identified across 6 of Pennsylvania’s 8 Catholic dioceses.
After the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, other states have followed suit by using the report as a guideline to launch statewide investigations of their own. The message these investigations are sending is quite clear: Sexual abuse within the Catholic Church is nothing short of an epidemic. But the future does not need to be a repeat of the past.
Across the United States, Church officials from over 2 dozen states have released lists of credible sexual abuse cases perpetrated by clergy. The lists reveal who has committed sexual abuse and where and when the abuse took place. Such lists have been released by over 40 dioceses in dozens of states.
Though these lists seem like a step in the right direction, they still fall far short of the Church accepting full accountability for the decades’ worth of abuse their institution knowingly allowed to continue.
Given their history, it’s difficult to take the Church’s release of such lists as anything more than a calculated gesture — a gesture that gives the impression the Church is changing their behavior and taking sexual abuse allegations seriously, when, in reality, they are doing very little. As an example, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston only released such a list after their offices were raided by federal investigators.
The Catholic Church is not the only institution responsible for the sexual abuse of thousands of men, women, and children. Other institutions also have a troubling history of abuse, too. Read more here.
Many survivors and advocacy groups are skeptical as to whether or not the Catholic Church will fully cooperate with law enforcement. In the past, the Church has been reluctant to offer support to investigations involving high-profile Church leaders.
To date, nearly 3,000 priests and Church workers have been credibly linked to sexual abuse. It’s important for survivors of clergy sexual abuse to get representation when they feel ready to take legal action against the Church.
If you or someone you love has been abused, Sokolove Law may be able to help. We will listen to your story, be discreet, and answer any questions you may have.
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Unfortunately, sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is not new. Coming forward is the first step in ending this abuse. These horrors can end. New voices are added to the conversation each day — voices that help other survivors understand they are not alone; voices that may help stop abusers from getting away with crimes in the future.
Your voice matters. It’s time to end clergy abuse.