Clergy Abuse in Harrisburg
NEWS ALERT: Diocese of Harrisburg announces funds to compensate sex abuse victims. Learn more.
We should be able to count on and trust our religious figures every day. They are there to resolve our sins or just merely talk to when things aren’t going right in our lives. But that simply is not the case anymore with all the recent news surrounding clergy abuse in Harrisburg and across Pennsylvania.
At Fellerman & Ciarimboli, we are on the front lines in the fight for the rights of minors and adults victimized by clergy abuse. Our Harrisburg clergy abuse lawyers are committed to helping those who were sexually abused by a religious authority. Our firm’s goal is to make sure your voice is heard and not silenced among the countless victims who have suffered and are currently suffering.
A Recent History of Clergy Abuse in Harrisburg
For decades, clergy abuse allegations have been popping up throughout the world. As of late, the news surrounding clergy abuse in Pennsylvania, specifically Harrisburg, has reached an all-time high.
As a report detailing a two-year grand jury investigation into the Catholic Church was about to be released in August 2018, the Diocese of Harrisburg published a list of religious figures who were accused of sexual abuse that stretched back to the 1940s. The list revealed 71 people connected to the diocese that have been accused of sexual abuse.
Weeks later, the statewide grand jury report on clergy abuse was released, listing the names of more than 300 priests who were accused of sexual abuse in six of the state’s eight dioceses. It revealed more than 1,000 children were abused over a span of 70 years. If you include priests from two other dioceses (one being Harrisburg), it amounts to nearly eight percent of the 5,000 priests who served in Pennsylvania during a 70-year period.
In light of the news surrounding clergy abuse, attorneys from Fellerman & Ciarimboli are actively looking to pursue justice on your behalf if you are the victim of a documented or undocumented incident of clergy abuse.
Facts About Clergy Sex Abuse
Sexual abuse is when a person experiences any unwanted sexual activity. When it happens with a religious figure, it is considered clergy sex abuse or clergy abuse as it’s more commonly put. As with any sexual abuse incident, the perpetrator will take advantage of the victim, using their position of power to either force or threat, prey on their victim’s weaknesses, use coercion tactics, or a combination of all three.
Victims of clergy abuse have most likely suffered from multiple forms of this unwanted behavior. The abuse can include molestation, indecent exposure, statutory rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and unconsented touching with or without clothing.
These acts of abuse can be devastating and can result in lasting negative effects that stay with the victim forever. People who were abused by clergymen as a child may suffer from multiple ailments as adults, including:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Guilt, confusion, and anger
- Low self-esteem, dissociation, and depression
- Substance abuse issues
- Suicidal tendencies
Children may suffer similar effects if the abuse was more recent. In some cases, their behavior can take a drastic change for the worse. Abused children may change their eating habits, engage in risky behavior, and may even become overly sexualized.
Facts About Clergyharrisburg Clergy Abuse Survivors Can Take Legal Action Sex Abuse
If you are a victim of clergy abuse in Harrisburg, you have the right to seek compensation. Because of this traumatic experience, you may receive economic damages in the form of medical and therapy bills, along with being compensated for a loss of income. Victims may also be able to recover punitive damages so individuals and institutions that wronged you can be punished.
In Pennsylvania, victims of abuse have the right to file a claim against any party who is liable for abuse. That means you will be able to file a lawsuit against the person who harmed you and the organization who attempted to conceal the abuse. If you speak up and tell your story, you will be standing up for your rights and protecting others from future acts of clergy abuse.
Our Harrisburg Clergy Abuse Lawyers Are Here to Help You
We understand your hesitation to come forward. Not only must you relive the memories of this traumatic experience, but you are going up against a powerful religious organization. While the feat seems insurmountable, our attorneys are here to make a difference.
The Harrisburg clergy abuse attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli will make sure your voice is heard and your rights are enforced.
If you are a clergy abuse survivor in Harrisburg and ready to step forward with your story, contact one of our three offices in Philadelphia, Scranton, and Wilkes-Barre for a free consultation.