California Clergy Abuse Attorney for Survivors
Our attorneys focus on holding institutions responsible for allowing abuse to occur. We typically do not handle matters involving abuse by a personal acquaintance, family member, or other individual outside of an organization.
Church leaders are supposed to serve as a moral guidepost for their followers, pointing them in the direction of honesty, integrity, and care for others. As clergy members represent an institution based on these values, one would not expect the Church or the leader to ever abuse their trusted position.
This is why, around the turn of the century, the uncovering of institutional sexual abuse within the Catholic Church sent a violent shock through the nation. If you or a loved one survived sexual abuse by a clergy member, the attorneys at Boucher LLP are here to help you.
We understand the courage it takes to come forward and speak out against your abuser, and it is important to know that you are not alone. 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 Childhood Sexual Abuse?
Childhood sexual abuse involves any lewd or lascivious conduct with a minor under the age of 14, such as sharing pornographic images, exposing oneself, or masturbating in their presence. This can have lasting emotional consequences for the survivor and pollute their ideas about trust, relationships, and sexuality. Additionally, you may have been manipulated into keeping quiet or convinced by the perpetrator that the misconduct is ordinary. But nothing about childhood sexual abuse is ordinary.
Survivors of this egregious crime often suffer in silence, shamed into believing they were complicit in the crime committed against them. This is the furthest thing from the truth. Please know that no part of childhood sexual abuse ever was or will ever be a child’s fault. When you consult a clergy abuse lawyer at Boucher LLP, you won’t have to fight alone any longer. We will listen attentively to your story and work to bring your abuser to justice.
Prevalence of Clergy Abuse in California
Catholic churches in California have been the subject of a lot of media attention in recent years, and numerous articles and news outlets have shined the spotlight on Catholic Church sexual abuse. In 2020, ProPublica compiled a list of dioceses in California in which a “credibly accused” abuser has served in their church, which revealed a combined 757 clergy sexual assault perpetrators.
Most of the abuse was committed decades prior by now-deceased clergy members, but a California Catholic priest abuse lawyer is still able to file claims against the Diocese itself.
Despite the intense media coverage that the Catholic Church has received, clergy abuse in California extends far beyond Catholic priests. It is also perpetrated by rabbis, non-denominational pastors, elders of Jehovah’s Witnesses, imams, and gurus.
In fact, a 2018 study showed that the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse across all Jewish religious groups was commensurate with national rates. Just as abuse does not discriminate among races, it also does not discriminate among religions. If you were abused by a religious leader in California, contact our clergy sexual abuse lawyers in California at Boucher LLP today. We can answer any questions you may have with compassion and confidentiality.
How Can A California Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorney Help?
At Boucher LLP, our clergy sexual abuse lawyers fight tirelessly to hold perpetrators liable and advocate for our clients. The civil claims process may often cause survivors to relive their trauma as they recount events and face their abusers.
Our attorneys understand how difficult and overwhelming this can be, so we are committed to providing compassionate representation and empowering our clients. We can also help ensure safeguards are put in place to prevent future harm. Call us in Los Angeles today so we can fight to hold sexual abusers and the condoning institutions accountable for their actions.
Statute of Limitations for Victims of Clergy Abuse
In 2020, the California legislature passed the Child Victims Act, which enacted changes to give survivors of childhood sexual assault greater access to justice. Previously, the State required claims against perpetrators to be brought before the age of 26.
Under the new law, you have until your 40th birthday or 22 years from the age of majority to seek damages. In addition, the legislature acknowledged that you may not discover the lingering psychological effects of childhood abuse until after the age of 40.
Accordingly, you can file suit up to five years from the date you discover your childhood sexual abuse is the source of your current psychological illness. This applies to any survivor of any age. Your attorney can work with psychiatric professionals to show that your case meets this exception. If you believe it does, don’t wait any longer. Call our church abuse lawyers at Boucher LLP today.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Church Abuse in California?
If you survived sexual abuse from a deceased priest, you may be able to hold other individuals liable, including other employees, volunteers that worked at the church, or even the local Dioceses or Archdiocese.
If a church member knew or should have known about the abuse and did not stop or prevent it, they can be held responsible. Under the 2020 law, if your lawyer can show that your childhood sexual abuse was covered up by the abuser or institution, you may recover up to three times the damages from the person or institution who is found responsible.
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.
Your best chance of successfully recovering the justice you’ve long deserved is to speak with a California clergy abuse lawyer immediately. An experienced clergy abuse attorney will listen to your story and identify potential claims. At Boucher LLP, we are ready to take your call.
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 and 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 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 are 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 California 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 at all, let alone in front of a judge or 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.
Additional Practice Areas
Counties We Serve
- Alameda County, CA
- Alpine County, CA
- Amador County, CA
- Butte County, CA
- Calaveras County, CA
- Colusa County, CA
- Contra Costa County, CA
- Del Norte County, CA
- El Dorado County, CA
- Fresno County, CA
- Glenn County, CA
- Humboldt County, CA
- Imperial County, CA
- Inyo County, CA
- Kern County, CA
- Kings County, CA
- Lake County, CA
- Lassen County, CA
- Los Angeles County, CA
- Madera County, CA
- Marin County, CA
- Mariposa County, CA
- Mendocino County, CA
- Merced County, CA
- Modoc County, CA
- Mono County, CA
- Monterey County, CA
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- Nevada County, CA
- Orange County, CA
- Placer County, CA
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- Sacramento County, CA
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- San Joaquin County, CA
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- Trinity County, CA
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