What Can Be Done to Protect Survivors After Sexual Assault By a Clergy?
Breit Cantor Grana Buckner—June 17, 2019
After suffering one of the most violating acts, survivors of sexual assault by a clergy member can encounter a number of different problems, including mental, emotional, and physical concerns associated with these incidents.
You may feel as though you no longer have a voice—that you’re battling a powerful establishment whose word is more likely to be believed than yours. However, you have rights and there are ways to protect yourself moving forward through the process.
Discover Your Rights with Regards to Criminal Action
Many survivors are afraid to come forward because they’ve been threatened or told that nobody would believe them. This is especially true with individuals of the church. However, once you’ve spoken with law enforcement and reported the incident there’s little that the offender can do to harm you further. The perpetrators of sexual assault have committed a crime and should be held accountable for it.
Few survivors recognize their right to civil action when it comes to sexual assault cases. They often associate personal injury law with car accidents or other incidents. However, civil action lawsuits can also pertain to sexual assault cases where the survivor has suffered physical and emotional harm.
Taking action puts the church in the spotlight and brings the wrongdoer, and their terrible acts, to light. It helps you put their actions—or inactions to protect you—in the public eye. As a result, you can create change and protect yourself, and others who are at risk of harm, and give a voice to others who may have been assaulted but have not been able to seek justice for themselves.
Find a Support Group
You may be surprised to discover that there are countless individuals like you who have gone through similar unfortunate circumstances. Finding others who may have gone through a similar situation can help you with the emotional and mental support you need during this time.
A support group can give you a community to discuss your feelings with, find out what actions others took, and provide resources to find a solution that works for you.
At Breit Cantor Grana Buckner, our Virginia sexual assault injury lawyers have represented numerous individuals in this complex area of law. We’re here to guide you from start to finish so you never feel alone and you know the rights you have to pursue compensation and justice.
Call us at (855) 212-8200 today to better understand your rights.