California Clergy Abuse Attorney for Survivors
If you or a loved one survived sexual abuse by a clergy member and you are considering pursuing legal action, the attorneys at Boucher LLP are here to help you.
We understand the courage that it takes to come forward and speak out against your abuser. First, know that you are not alone. Shockingly, statistics show that every 68 seconds, one American is sexually assaulted. Every nine minutes, that person is a child. When you reach out to our law firm, we start by listening to your story with compassion. Then, as your clergy abuse attorney, we will work to obtain justice for the harm you endured.
What Is Sexual Assault?
If you are under 18 years of age, you cannot consent to any type of sexual activity, no matter what an adult says to you. Holding a position of power often allows church clergy members to manipulate, intimidate, and coerce the people who trust them into sexual acts.
A clergy member may appear trustworthy, pleasant, friendly, or sympathetic, but in reality, some clergy project these traits to groom and gain access to children. While abusers continue their lives as usual, the survivors experience long-lasting, detrimental effects on their lives, relationships and mental health.
Childhood sexual assault can be sharing pornographic images or movies, masturbating, or exposing oneself to a minor. Sending obscene messages or video via text, email, or any other chat is sexual abuse, too. Even when the sexual abuse does include physical contact, it can still be devastating to a child. When this happens, children are left with confusing thoughts about trust, relationships, and sexuality.
You may have been manipulated into keeping quiet or convinced that the contact is ordinary. But nothing about childhood sexual assault is ordinary. Any sexual conduct in the presence of a minor is a serious, egregious crime, but survivors often suffer in silence. They feel as though they were complicit in the crime committed against them. Fortunately, hope exists. When you consult a clergy abuse lawyer at Boucher LLC, you won’t have to fight alone any longer. We will listen to your story and work to bring the abuser to justice.
How Can a Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorney Help?
You have rights under California law. The more a person learns about what happened to them and how they might grow beyond their assault, the more empowered they are to improve their life. At Boucher LLP, our attorneys have extensive experience in the law and how it may help survivors reclaim their control.
You have the right to sue the individual who assaulted you, as well as the property owners, employers, and security agencies that had the responsibility to protect you as a child.
In 2020, the California legislature enacted changes to give survivors of childhood sexual assault greater access to justice. Previously, you could file a civil suit only if you were under age 26 (eight years after reaching the age of majority). Under the new laws, you have until you are 40 years old or 22 years from the age of majority.
Even more significantly, the legislature acknowledged that you might not discover the effects of childhood abuse until later in life. Accordingly, you have five years to file suit after discovering that you have a psychological injury or illness from the assault. This applies to extend the statute of limitations even if you discover these injuries after your 40 birthday. Your attorney can work with psychological professionals to show that your case meets this exception.
Finally, the new laws recognize the seriousness of sexual abuse and cover-ups. If your lawyer can show the judge that the abuser or an institution took part in a cover-up, the law will penalize the abuser by requiring them to pay three times the usual amount in damages. Some archdioceses have a history of simply moving an abuser to another position in response to an abuse allegation rather than reporting the person to authorities. This allows the abuser to continue holding positions that allow them to perpetuate further abuse. It’s important to hold accountable not just abusers, but all those who enabled the abuse by protecting the perpetrators.
Why Choose Our Law Firm?
The attorneys at Boucher LLP have substantial experience with childhood sexual abuse cases. When you contact the clergy sexual abuse attorneys at Boucher LLP, you can expect highly individualized and compassionate service. We have guided many survivors through negotiations, settlements, and trials to bring abusers to justice. Whether you’re up against one clergy member or an entire Archdiocese, your attorney will defend your rights with meticulous preparation and tenacious, relentless representation.
We see brave, tough men and women every day who emotionally recount their childhood assault at the hands of church clergy members in California. What happened to you wasn’t right. It wasn’t your fault. With the help of an award-winning attorney, you can demand justice and start the healing process today.
What Difference Can Legal Action Make?
As you come to terms with your childhood assault, the first goal is to receive psychological and emotional support. Then when you’re ready, you can start evaluating your opportunities for taking legal action. When you file a lawsuit, you may help prevent new cases of abuse. We understand that no amount of punishment will ever be enough to make up for your assault. However, by speaking up and taking legal action against the perpetrator, you can help prevent them from ever doing something similar to you or anybody else in the future.
For example, at the end of a case against the LA Archdiocese, the court ordered it to release inside documents on its clergy members. The documents show that the Archdiocese knew of the clergymen’s abuses and continued to place them in churches and schools. Transparent and open clergy records is one important step to holding the perpetrators of child sexual assault accountable and ending the cycle of abuse.
Finally, when you share your story with the court, you may recover financial compensation to help with your recovery. Although no amount of money can make up for suffering from sexual abuse, it can help you pay for medical bills or the cost of therapy and medications and assist you in moving forward with your life. Your priest abuse attorney can guide you in collecting evidence that will help explain all of what you’ve endured.
Speak to a Clergy Abuse Attorney at Boucher LLP Today
When you’re ready to seek justice for your clergy abuse, contact the attorneys at Boucher LLP. Survivors often live with fear and shame that the abuse was their fault. It’s never your fault, and you are not alone. We understand that childhood sexual abuse is devastating and going to court sounds daunting. It can be challenging for survivors to speak about their abuse, let alone in front of a judge or in a courtroom. But you deserve reparations for the abuse you endured at the hands of someone you trusted.
Even though the process exposes old scars and brings the abuse to light, many survivors gain a sense of inner peace and closure after filing a lawsuit. Bringing the wrongdoer to justice may not restore your childhood, but it can go a long way toward repairing your quality of life and preventing future abuse. In the end, seeking justice isn’t just about an abuser. Let us fight for you, your healing, and your recovery. Call us today for your free consultation.