Church Abuse includes a wide-range of illegal and unacceptable actions frequently perpetrated on children and adolescents by predatory clergy or other church employees involving sexual assault of varying degrees. The assault can be a one-off, non-consensual scroll barencounter or it might include many assaults within an ongoing interaction. For instance, a continuing “trusting” relationship with a young child spawned by the predatory intent of a clergy member, cloaked by the trust and reverence imputed to a member of the clergy, leading to non-consensual sexual assault acts of molestation.
Within most alleged Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse scenarios, the short-coming by the Church member’s superior to completely, adequately and promptly disclose the crime to police and other authorities, or its continuing failure to investigate, contend with and resolve fully with the occurrence increases the harm on the abuse survivor, the community and possibly others. Current Priest Sexual Assault cases covered in the media highlight these failures, that includes “pass-the-trash” situations when the perpetrator commonly a priest in the Catholic Church, is secretly re-assigned from one parish to another only to continue his predatory, criminal action on an unaware parish community.
Priest and Clergy Sexual Abuse & Retribution
Not a week goes by without a news announcement coverage about sexual assault and molestation of young children by pedophile clergy, or the effects of the abuse on the victims and their families. If you are a victim of sexual abuse from a priest or other church member, these reports are likely to serve as an echo chamber, replaying the horror, shame, guilt and various unwelcome feelings staining your well-being. Encouraged by the societal movement and other pathways that encourage survivors to reveal the assault they experienced, victims of abuse are increasingly employing the legal system to compensate them for the life-long harm and injury they have experienced.
If you are a survivor of assault perpetrated by a priest, the impact of the abuse on your life and foundational belief system can be incalculable. Regardless, holding the responsible clergy and institutions accountable for their crimes and failures might provide an amount of justice and recompense to abuse victims. Frequently, victims can leverage their legal rights in confidential mediation thereby avoiding the need for litigation. However, if clergy abuse California
is required, a case may be filed where the victim can remain anonymous.
All predators, to varying amounts, use predatory tactics which are commonly referred to as grooming, aiming at a possible assault victim. Following is a survey of grooming actions exhibited by predators who are in a job of authority in relation to the subordinate child.
Grooming is a significant part of a predator’s strategy. In a church setting, the clergy member is viewed as God’s representative. Within this environment, the predator often works closely with small amounts of children, understanding each child’s needs, weaknesses and situations. Once a target is located, these vulnerabilities – like tumultuous family setting, loneliness, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, attention-seeking – may be systematically exploited in the following ways:
An assaulter will first work to get the child’s trust. This step is most difficult to notice as church communities are often tight-knit and personal interaction with clergy is commonplace. Here, the assaulter can feign sincere interest in the child’s wellness and development – both emotional and religious.
As a predator establishes a trusting relationship with the potential child-victim and oftentimes their family members, the child will start to rely more and more on the predator for whatever need it is that the priest is exploiting and fulfilling. The child may devote increased time with the predator, feeling more and more comfortable with the relationship and counting on its stability and security. In addition to attention and affection, the possible victim may receive presents from the priest, including valuable, intangible gifts such as blessings and special recognition.
As the grooming continues, the predator will work to isolate the possible vi