Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church
If you or your child has been a victim of sexual abuse by a member of the Catholic Church, Miller Stern Lawyers LLC can help. Our team represents survivors and their families and is committed to pursuing justice and financial compensation for victims.
To arrange a confidential meeting with our lawyers for a free legal consultation, please fill out this form or call us today at 410-LAW-FIRM.
Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church Lawyers of Balitmore
Representing Victims fighting Against Sexual Abusers throughout the state of Maryland
Child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church is a widespread and systemic issue that has had devastating impacts on victims and their families. Despite efforts to address the problem, cases of abuse and cover-up continue to come to light, underscoring the urgent need for accountability, transparency, and reform within the Church.
Miller Stern Lawyers LLC has a team of legal professionals who have successfully represented thousands of clients in cases including child sexual assault and abuse. Our expertise in handling such cases and obtaining justice for victims of child sexual abuse contributes to settlements and verdicts collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
To schedule a free initial consultation today for victims of sexual abuse from the Catholic Church, please FILL OUT THE FORM ABOVE or call 410-LAW-FIRM. Our legal services are available in English, Spanish, and Hebrew.
“Report on Child Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore”
Attorney General Anthony G. Brown released the Report on Child Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore in April 2023. The report details numerous cases of abuse, cover-ups, failures to report incidents to law enforcement authorities, and emphasizes the need for transparency, accountability, and reform within the archdiocese.
This comprehensive study and extensive investigation compiled over 3,000 files and documents related to cases of sexual abuse dating back to the 1930s. It identified 173 priests, brothers, and lay teachers who were accused of sexually abusing minors, and another 51 individuals whose actions enabled or facilitated abuse. The report also details the specific allegations made against each of these individuals. The investigation found that many of the abusers were moved from parish to parish or diocese to diocese, and in some cases, were allowed to continue working with children despite known allegations of abuse. The archdiocese failed to report incidents to law enforcement authorities, instead relied on internal investigations and punishments.
Attorney General of Maryland, Anthony Brown, said "There was physical abuse and mental abuse. There was sexual abuse and rape. And this occurred between the abusers, who had positions of power and authority, and some of the most vulnerable people in our society, children, children who are devoted to the Catholic Church, and yet were abused over and over again by the very people who are entrusted to care for these children” in an interview with PBS.
Additionally, Maryland has a statute of limitations for bringing civil claims related to child sexual abuse. Under current law, victims have until age 38 to file a claim, or within three years of discovering the abuse. There is no statute of limitations for criminal charges in cases of child sexual abuse.
At the time of the report's submission to the Circuit Court for Baltimore in April, the General Assembly was considering the passage of House Bill 1 and Senate Bill 686. If enacted and subsequently signed by the Governor, this legislation would eliminate the State's civil statute of limitations for suits seeking damages related to child sexual abuse.
Filing a Sexual Abuse Claim in Baltimore
If you are a victim of child sexual abuse by a member of the Catholic Church in Baltimore, you may have the legal right to file a claim for damages against the Church.
The process for filing a claim involves several steps:
- Seek Legal Assistance: The first step is to seek legal assistance from an attorney experienced in handling cases related to child sexual abuse. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights, guide you through the claims process, and represent you in negotiations or litigation.
- Collect Evidence: Your attorney will work with you to gather evidence to support your claim, including medical records, police reports, witness statements, and other documentation related to the abuse.
- File a Claim: Your attorney will file a claim against the Catholic Church in Baltimore on your behalf. The claim will outline the allegations of abuse and the damages sought.
- Negotiate a Settlement: The Catholic Church may choose to negotiate a settlement with you rather than go to trial. Your attorney will work with the Church's representatives to reach a fair settlement that compensates you for your damages.
- Go to Trial: If the Church is unwilling to negotiate a fair settlement, your case may go to trial. Your attorney will represent you in court and present evidence and arguments to support your claim.
The potential damages that survivors of childhood sexual abuse may be entitled to if they sue the Church and the abuser under Baltimore law. Such damages include medical expenses, mental health care costs, lost wages, and compensation for intangible harms, such as emotional distress and mental anguish. Survivors of sexual abuse may suffer from a range of mental health issues, which may affect their ability to work and care for themselves. Even though the intangible harms cannot be quantified financially, they can still be claimed in court.
It is important to note that the process of filing a claim against the Catholic Church for child sexual abuse in Baltimore can be complex and emotionally challenging. We recommended that you seek support from a therapist or counselor experienced in trauma therapy to help you cope with the emotional and psychological effects of the abuse.
Effects on Sexually Abused Victims
Victims of sexual abuse may suffer a variety of physical and psychological injuries, including physical trauma, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues. Victims may experience feelings of shame, guilt, and self-blame, as well as difficulty trusting others and forming healthy relationships. These injuries and effects can have long-lasting consequences and may require ongoing medical and psychological treatment.
Victims of sexual abuse should seek legal and medical assistance as soon as possible to protect their rights and health. There are resources available for victims of sexual abuse in Baltimore, including victim advocacy organizations, legal services, and mental health providers who specialize in trauma therapy.
If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse from a member of the Catholic Church, contact Miller Stern Lawyers LLC at 410-LAW-FIRM or FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW.
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