Victims of Catholic Church Abuse Deserve Passionate Representation
Even after decades of victims coming forward, stories of sexual abuse, coercion, and manipulation within the Catholic Church continue to emerge. In 2019, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection stated that there were over 4,200 allegations of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. Reports of Catholic Church abuse often include sexual abuse of a minor, child pornography, or sexual abuse or manipulation of a church or staff member.
Victims of sexual abuse at the hands of a bishop, priest, archdiocese, or other church official have the right to seek legal justice. However, not all victims feel safe speaking out after their assault. With the 2021 passing of the Louisiana House Bill 492, childhood victims of sexual abuse have been given more power and freedom to take action against their abusers. According to the law, victims aged 28 years or older you can file a claim—no matter how long ago the incident occurred—through 2024. This law has been challenged recently, with the Louisiana Supreme Court set to rule on the matter soon. However, victims are encouraged to file their claims before the 2024 deadline.
If you were abused by a representative of the Catholic Church, contact an attorney from Mansfield Melancon Cranmer & Dick (MMCD). Our lawyers support and empower victims of sexual abuse by helping them pursue justice through the legal system. Your actions may not only help you seek justice against the abuser. They may also help protect others from future sexual abuse.
How Should Victims Proceed?
When preparing to seek legal action against the Catholic Church for abuse that you have suffered, follow these steps to strengthen your claim and protect your legal rights.
- Cease contact. Distancing yourself from the institution and the abuser protects your physical safety and emotional wellbeing. It also prevents communication that could be used against you in court.
- Seek medical and emotional care. Your doctor can provide you with physical care after a sexual assault. Disclose the details of your abuse so that these can be stored confidentially in your medical files. This can become an essential part of building evidence against the abuser. If advised, see a mental health expert as well.
- Write down what you can remember. Whether the abuse occurred recently or years ago, it is important to record what you can remember from the assault. This includes the location where it occurred, who committed the act, and any other details you can recall. This can make it easier when sharing information with your lawyer.
- Keep any possible evidence. Digital messages, articles of clothing from your assault, or notes from the abuser can all play a vital role in your case. Keep these items or data stored safely until you can share them with your attorney.
Taking the first steps toward justice for your abuse can be intimidating—but know that you aren’t alone. The attorneys at MMCD can guide you every step of the way. Whether you are taking action for your child, you are an adult victim, or you are a survivor of abuse as a minor, our lawyers are prepared to help you hold the clergy or priesthood responsible.
Schedule a Consultation
If you or a loved one have been a victim of Catholic Church abuse, speak with Mansfield Melancon Cranmer & Dick. Our lawyers not only provide clients with passionate, steadfast legal representation but also sensitivity and compassion.
Schedule a confidential consultation with our Catholic Church abuse attorneys by calling 888-601-0127 or sending us a message. We are prepared to fight for your legal rights and recover the compensation you deserve.