Sexual abuse is defined as a forceful and undesired sexual behavior by one person to another. In certain cases where the act is immediate, of short duration, or infrequent, it is known as sexual assault. In any case, the offender is referred to as a sexual abuser or molester.
In other terms, sexual abuse may cover any behavior by any adult towards a child, which stimulates the adult or child in a sexual manner. Furthermore, when the child is less than the age of consent, this is referred to as child sexual abuse.
When any of the above descriptions occurs by a member of the clergy, this is referred to as sexual abuse by clergy. A member of clergy is a formal religious leader and can include a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professionals. Unfortunately, in recent times, these types of cases have become increasingly recognized for a number of reasons, and must come to an end.
At Greg Monforton & Partners, our sexual abuse lawyers believe that if you or a member of your family has been sexually abused by a member of the clergy, the victim may be eligible to receive compensation for all damages that have occurred.
History of Sexual Abuse by Clergy
In the Catholic Church, sexual abuse has never been allowed or condoned. However, in modern times, sexual abuse has been proven to be prevalent throughout members of the clergy. In fact, the media began to recognize this type of sexual abuse in the 1980's, while cases had been known for over 30 years prior to this.
More so, reports of sexual abuse against rabbis, teachers, and mentors in the Jewish community have also begun to receive attention from the media. In any case, all of these victims have come together to share their stories and seek justice in the court of law for the horrific actions that have taken place.
Reasons for Sexual Abuse
In most cases, the reasons for sexual abuse are extremely complex, thus we may not always be able pinpoint the exact cause. These types of cases can occur to any age group of people, however in most sexual abuse cases by members of the clergy, it is usually against children. Often times, these are extremely secretive crimes and many go unreported, unless the child elects to tell someone about the incident. Of course, there are some common characteristics of both abusers and victims that have been recognized.
Some common characteristics of sexual abusers include:
- Around 80% of abusers were abused as a child
- Abusers have mental disorders, pedophilia, and see themselves as a child
- Abusers are often men abusing children they know
Some common characteristics of victims include:
- Children with learning disabilities or isolated children
- Children of poverty or needy
- Children who over trust a certain adult
In any case, parents need to speak with their children, ask them questions, and look for common symptoms of sexual abuse. If anything unnatural is noticed, medical attention should be sought out and reported immediately.
Signs and Symptoms of Child Sexual Abuse
There may be many different signs and symptoms of sexual abuse, which may be originally noticed as depression, anxiety, or nervousness. Of course, there are many other physical, health, and social symptoms that may appear which are clear signs of sexual abuse.
Common symptoms of sexual abuse include:
- Avoids normal activities
- Bowel disorders
- Child abuses drugs or alcohol
- Child avoids specific person without reason
- Child has interests of sexual acts inappropriate for age
- Child knows adult words for body parts with unrecognized source
- Doesn't want to change clothes in front of others
- Eating disorders
- Genital or rectal symptoms, such as pain during urination or bowel movements
- Insomnia or other sleeping problems
- Lack of educational performance or participation
- repeated headaches
- Sexually transmitted infections are present
- Stomach aches
- Trouble sitting or walking due to pain in genital area
Again, if any of these signs or symptoms are noticed in your child, it is advised to seek immediate medical attention. In addition, these medical documents can be used by our lawyers against the negligent individual in the court of law.
Contact Our Ontario Sexual Abuse by Clergy Lawyers
At Greg Monforton and Partners, our lawyers have the experience and determination to fight back against the negligent members of clergy who performed such awful acts.
Our lawyers also have access to the areas most outstanding support groups, mental health professionals, physicians, and other professionals to help victims cope with the sexual abuse that occurred.
With our primary location in Windsor, we are licensed and have law connections to serve throughout the entire Province of Ontario, Canada, and the United States.
Some locations we serve include:
To learn more about our law firm, or to schedule your free case review, we welcome you to contact us at (866) 320-4770 today, where a member of our intake staff will take the details of your case and quickly connect you with one of our compassionate lawyers ready to handle your specific case.
Greg Monforton & Partners - Windsor Injury Lawyers