Orange County Clergy Abuse Attorney
Increased awareness of clergy abuse has empowered many survivors to come forward with their stories.
If you are ready to bring your abuser—and the institution that enabled the abuse—to justice, then you should consider a sexual abuse lawsuit and contact an Orange County clergy sexual abuse lawyer.
More importantly, we gave these survivors a platform to speak truth to power and expose those whose evil deeds had been hiding in darkness for too long.
Such courageous action helps survivors reclaim some of the power that was taken from them and represents a significant step on their journey to heal.
We encourage you to also consider taking legal action as part of your own healing journey.
How Common Is Clergy Abuse?
Sadly, clergy abuse is more common than most people think. In 2019, four times the number of clergy abuse survivors came forward compared to previous years, according to a Washington Post story.
The story referenced a U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops report that counted 4,434 allegations of clergy sex abuse against minors in one year.
What Should You Do When You Discover Clergy Sexual Abuse?
When you remember clergy abuse that you suffered as a child, or when you discover that your own child has been abused, you may be overwhelmed by emotion.
Survivors may feel a range of emotions from sadness and anger to guilt and shame. Let yourself feel these emotions while you also take the following positive steps to protect yourself and others.
Seek Medical Care
If you need medical care, seek it right away. Prioritize your physical healing by securing compassionate medical providers. Bring along a trusted friend or family member if you need emotional support to seek care.
Seek Mental Health Care
Experiencing sexual abuse from a trusted clergy member can have devastating mental health effects. Seek mental health support from a therapist with experience working with sexual abuse survivors.
Also, consider these mental health resources:
- Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) offers both virtual and in-person support groups. SNAP also hosts an in-person conference annually.
- The National Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-656-4673 or via online chat at online.rainn.org.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255.
When seeking mental health support, remember that healing doesn’t proceed on a straight path. Be prepared for highs and lows in your journey, and take the time you need to heal.
File a Police Report
As soon as you become aware of sexual abuse, file a police report. This step can lead to an investigation that can protect other children from being harmed.
You can also submit information to the California Attorney General. The Attorney General’s office will forward your abuse report to the Department of Justice.
Contact an Orange County Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer
When you are ready to seek justice for the harm you suffered, consider speaking to the Orange County clergy sexual abuse attorneys at Boucher LLP.
An attorney can help you evaluate your legal options and stand beside you as you speak out against clergy sex abuse.
Regardless of whether the State of California criminally prosecuted your abuser, you can file a civil lawsuit. A civil lawsuit has a lower burden of proof than a criminal conviction, so you may be able to achieve justice this way even if the criminal justice system failed you.
Taking legal action can help you reclaim your voice and protect others from harm by clergy members.
What Does an Orange County Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorney Do?
The Orange County clergy abuse lawyers at Boucher LLP listen to you, advise you on legal options, provide moral support, and advocate for you throughout the legal process should you decide to proceed with a lawsuit.
Listens to Your Story
When you contact the trauma-informed sexual abuse attorneys at Boucher LLP, you will first meet for an intitial consultation.
This lets you get to know the lawyers, evaluate legal options, ask questions, and decide whether we are a good fit for you.
If you prefer to speak over the phone, that is fine too. We are sensitive to how difficult it can be to share your story of abuse, and we want to do whatever is most comfortable for you.
If you retain the attorneys at Boucher LLP to represent you, we will assist you in gathering the evidence you might have that supports your case.
Because of our past experience litigating clergy abuse cases, we also have a number of resources we can consult in an effort to find evidence that may bolster your case.
It may be that we already represent individuals who were also abused by the same clergy member, as most often, these incidents of sexual abuse are not isolated.
Files a Lawsuit
Once the necessary information and evidence has been collected, your attorney will file a lawsuit against the diocese that enabled the abuse.
Often in the case of sexual abuse, dioceses moved priests from parish to parish trying to cover up the abuse, putting even more children in harms way.
The clergy abuse attorneys at Boucher LLP seek to hold the responsible dioceses accountable and bring it to justice.
Negotiates a Settlement
Usually, defendants want to settle clergy sexual abuse cases. Many survivors also prefer to settle their claim because it shortens the legal process and reduces the stress involved in a court trial. However, a survivor always has the final say in whether to accept a settlement offer.
Settlements can include compensation for medical and mental health treatment and pain and suffering.
You can also request non-monetary provisions in a settlement, such as performing community service, establishing public awareness programs, or creating supportive services for survivors.
Argues in Court
If you are not satisfied with the settlement offer, you can consider with your attorney whether to take your case to trial.
A sexual abuse trial can be emotionally draining but provides a powerful public platform to confront the institution that enabled your abuser.
Ultimately, whether by settlement or trial, the team of clergy sexual abuse lawyers at Boucher LLP will be seeking a legal outcome that will empower you, expose your abusers, and protect others from suffering similar abuse.
Contact the Orange County Clergy Abuse Attorneys at Boucher LLP
Clergy sexual abuse survivors deserve justice. Those trusted people in power who take advantage of children deserve to be held accountable as do the institutions that enable them and cover for them.
Sharing your story through a sexual abuse lawsuit can expose these evil actions and protect children from harm. When you are ready to take this courageous step, contact our law firm for a free consultation.
We won’t pressure you to take action until it’s right for you, but we’ll give you the knowledge and support you need to make an informed decision.
If you decide to proceed with a lawsuit, our compassionate trauma-informed attorneys will be with you every step of the way, empowering you to speak your truth and fighting with you to achieve justice.