Kyed MacDonald posted an update 1 day, 7 hours ago
Priest Abuse includes a wide-range of illegal and unacceptable actions often perpetrated against young children and adolescents by predatory clergy or other church members involving sexual assault of varying amounts. The abuse may be a one-off, non-consensual scroll barencounter or it can include several assaults inside an ongoing interaction. For
church abuse Massachusetts , a continuing “trusting” relationship with a young child created by the predatory behavior of a church member, cloaked with the trust and respect imputed to a member of the clergy, leading to non-consensual sexual assault acts of molestation.
In nearly all claimed Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse situations, the short-coming by the Church member’s employer to fully, adequately and promptly disclose the crime to police and other authorities, or the continuing failure to investigate, address and resolve entirely with the occurrence amplifies the effects on the abuse survivor, the community and possibly others. Current Church Sexual Assault cases covered in the press show these failures, that includes “pass-the-trash” situations when the predator oftentimes a clergy in the Catholic Church, is quietly transferred from one parish to another only to continue his predatory, criminal action on an unsuspecting parish community.
Priest and Clergy Sexual Abuse & Justice
Not a day passes without a media announcement coverage regarding sexual abuse and molestation of young children by pedophile clergy, or the aftermath of the assault on the survivors and their families. If you are a victim of sexual assault from a priest or other church member, these reports are most likely to serve as an echo chamber, replaying the horror, embarrassment, guilt and other unwanted thoughts harming your well-being. Encouraged by the societal movement and other channels that encourage them to disclose the assault they suffered, survivors of abuse are increasingly turning to the legal system to compensate them for the lifetime harm and injury they have experienced.
If you are a survivor of assault commited by a priest, the result of the abuse on your life and core belief system can be incalculable. Regardless, holding the responsible church and institutions accountable for their crimes and indifference can offer a measure of justice and recompense to assault victims. Commonly, survivors can leverage their legal rights through confidential mediation therein avoiding the need for litigation. However, if litigation is required, a case may be filed where the survivor can remain anonymous.
All predators, to varying amounts, employ predatory tricks which are commonly referred to as grooming, targeting a possible assault victim. Below is a list of grooming behaviors exhibited by predators who are in a job of authority relative to the subordinate young child.
Grooming is a significant part of a predator’s ploy. In a church environment, the clergy member is revered as God’s representative. In this setting, the predator often works closely with small numbers of children, identifying each child’s needs, vulnerabilities and situations. Once a target is located, these vulnerabilities – like violent family setting, loneliness, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, attention-seeking – can be systematically exploited in the following ways:
A predator will initially work to get the child’s trust. This step is most difficult to notice as church communities are frequently tight-knit and personal relation with clergy is commonplace. Here, the priest can feign sincere concern in the child’s wellness and development – both emotional and religious.
As a predator creates a trusting relationship with the potential target and oftentimes their family, the child will start to rely more and more on the predator for whatever need it is that the predator is exploiting and fulfilling. The victim may spend increased time with the priest, feeling more comfortable with the relationship and counting on its stability and security. In addition to attention and affection, the possible victim might receive gifts from the predator, including valuable, intangible gifts such as blessings and special recognition.
While grooming continues, the predator will work to isolate the possible target. This could result in solo counseling sessions, meals or various forms of one-on-one isolated encounters.
The predator might begin to de-sensitize the target from reacting negatively to contact, caressing and various behaviors that lead to sexual interaction. This may start with crossing the physical-touch barrier, or verbally, with suggestive messages to gauge the victim’s response to the progression. This will escalate until the relationship gets to one of a physical, sexual nature.
Once the sexual relationship is established, the predator will work to maintain control over the child and the continuing interaction. The predator will likely seek to manipulate the victim by continuing to make the target feel special and worthy. The predator will continue to exploit the victim by whatever methods necessary to maintain the immoral physical relationship.
Impact on Clergy Abuse Survivors
The impact of childhood assault on the victim can be overwhelming and life-altering. Several priest assault survivors suffer from long-term effects of the assault including depression, disturbed sleeping, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse and eating patterns, and difficulty establishing and keeping healthy relationships. Individualized treatment and support groups can help survivors overcome these effects.
Legally, a victim of Clergy Sexual Abuse may gain financial compensation from the abuser and, more frequently, from the religious organization for its failure to protect the child from the assault, as well as failures or deficiencies in its process of reviewing and resolving to reports of abuse. If you are a victim of Priest or Clergy Sexual Assault and would like to confidentially discuss your situation and your legal options, we are prepared to talk with you.