A religious figure should be a person you can trust. They absolve your sins and are there to provide guidance. There is a strong bond you form with a priest or pastor. But when that trust is violated in the most horrific way, the long-lasting effects are devastating.
At Fellerman & Ciarimboli, we have been fighting for the rights of minors and adults for decades. Our PA clergy abuse lawyers are committed to those who were victimized by a religious authority. We make sure your voice is not silenced and you receive the justice from not only the predators that committed these terrible acts but from those religious institutions that allowed them to occur.
Clergy Sexual Abuse is Still a Problem
Since the late 1980s, abuse allegations have been popping up throughout the world. Between 2001 and 2010, the central governing body of the Catholic Church, the Holy See, had been investigating sex abuse allegations involving 3,000 priests that date back at least 50 years.
Clergy abuse is not only occurring within the Catholic Church. According to the New York Times, a survey from the Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence found that up to 15 percent of clergy members in all religious groups have engaged in some inappropriate sexual conduct.
In Pennsylvania, a two-year grand jury investigation into sexual abuse of children within six Catholic dioceses across the state — Scranton, Allentown, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie, and Greensburg — was recently released, detailing more than seven decades of sexual abuse by more than 300 predator priests throughout six of the eight dioceses in Pennsylvania. To read the report, click here.
Unfortunately, religious organizations choose to conceal the abuse rather than end it. This not only makes it difficult to know how many have survived sexual abuse but allows the cycle of abuse to continue.
Sexual Abuse: What You Should Know
Sexual abuse is when a person experiences unwanted sexual activity. The perpetrator will take advantage of the victim, sometimes using force or threats of violence. Sexual abuse does not have to involve the act itself; it can be something as simple as an unwelcome touch or a kiss.
There are several types of abuse that a survivor may have experienced at the hands of a priest or clergyman. It may include one of the following: