A large number of abuse claims are brought against religious organisations. Church abuse is sadly very real and there have been many instances of those in charge being held to account for their inappropriate actions. Priests, vicars and other religious leaders are often looked up to and respected by their parishioners. They are in positions of trust and power and this sometimes allows them access to vulnerable children and adults.
Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in particular has received a lot of media and public attention since the late 1980s. There have been some investigations and convictions of Catholic priests for sexual abuse, alongside allegations and investigations in relation to alleged cover-ups of priest abuse by other prominent figures within the organisation.
At Jordans we have dealt with a wide range of church abuse claims, including ones involving Church of England abuse, claims against the Catholic Church and other religious organisations.
Dealing with church abuse
Usually, cases involving church abuse will relate to abuse that happened many years ago, when the complainant was a child or teenager. It is not uncommon, however, for an individual in a position of religious power and authority to abuse or assault an adult member of their church/congregation.
Sexual, physical, emotional and psychological child abuse is a criminal offence. Whether it was committed against you many years ago or your child more recently, you should report any kind of church abuse to the police first. Every police force has a specialist child protection unit with officers trained to deal with current and historical church abuse.
Criminal convictions can help with your church abuse claim. Even if a conviction does not happen, you can still bring forward a claim for compensation.
Who do I bring a church abuse claim against?
It is usually better to bring church abuse claims against the religious organisation rather than the individual abuser – even if it was specific vicar or priest abuse that occurred. The organisational structure of religious bodies can be complicated, so it is important that your solicitor is experienced in this area of compensation claims.
When it can be proven that the religious organisation was aware of the abuse, or should have been, and took no action, they might also be liable for negligence. Where possible, speak to solicitors as soon as possible after an instance of church abuse, as there are time limits for bringing a compensation claim to court.
However, it’s important that you feel comfortable enough to discuss the case. The courts are usually understanding in regard to such a sensitive area. There are many examples where victims of vicar and priest abuse have stayed quiet before speaking out. Many have still brought forward successful claims.
At Jordans, our specialist team have many years of experience successfully bringing church abuse claims forward and obtaining compensation for individuals who have suffered priest, vicar abuse and attacks and assaults by other members of the clergy or religious institutions.
Make a church abuse claim with Jordans
The effects of abuse on a child can have far reaching implications, having an extreme impact on their development as adults and their day to day functioning.
Our child abuse solicitors are here to provide support and guidance at a very difficult time. If you or someone you know has suffered church abuse in any of the situations outlined above please contact the abuse team on our dedicated freephone number 0800 9555 094. One of our specialist child abuse lawyers will be happy to discuss your situation in confidence.
While we cannot change what has happened in the past regarding church abuse, we will endeavour to recover compensation. This can allow you to seek the required support to rebuild your life.
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