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Priest Abuse – Information

"Raphael Broadhurst" (2019-08-16)

Church Abuse comprises a range of illegal and improper behaviors frequently perpetrated against kids and teens by predatory priests or other church employees involving sexual assault of varying amounts. The assault may be a one-off, non-consensual scroll barencounter or it might involve several assaults inside a continuing interaction. For example, an ongoing "trusting" interaction with a child created by the predatory intent of a church associate, blanketed by the trust and reverence provided to a priest, leading to non-consensual sexual attack acts of molestation.

Within most alleged Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse scenarios, the short-coming abused by priestMassachusetts the Church member’s employer to entirely, adequately and promptly report the offense to law enforcement and other authorities, or the continuing failure to investigate, cope with and deal entirely with the occurrence amplifies the harm on the abuse survivor, the community and possibly others. Current Clergy Sexual Assault cases covered in the press uncover these failures, that includes "pass-the-trash" situations where the predator commonly a priest in the Catholic Church, is silently transferred from one church to another merely to continue his predatory, criminal behavior on an innocent parish community.

Priest and Clergy Sexual Assault & Justice
Not a week passes without a media announcement reporting about sexual assault and molestation of children by pedophile priests, or the legacy of the assault on the victims and their families. If you are a victim of sexual assault from a priest or other church member, these stories are most likely to act as an echo chamber, replaying the horror, embarrassment, guilt and other unwelcome thoughts hurting your well-being. Encouraged by the societal movement and other pathways that encourage survivors to reveal the assault they suffered, victims of assault are more frequently employing the legal system to compensate them for the lifetime harm and injury they have suffered.

If you are a survivor of assault commited by a member of the church, the impact of the abuse on your life and foundational belief system can be incalculable. Nonetheless, holding the responsible person and institutions to blame for their crimes and indifference can provide an amount of justice and recompense to assault survivors. Oftentimes, victims can leverage their legal rights in confidential mediation therein avoiding the need for litigation. However, if litigation is required, a motion might be filed where the survivor can remain anonymous.

Abusive Behavior

All predators, to varying degrees, employ predatory tactics that are generally known as grooming, focusing on a potential abuse victim. Below is a list of grooming behaviors used by predators who are in a job of authority in relation to the subordinate child.


Grooming is a significant piece of a predator’s ploy. In a church setting, the priest is held as God’s representative. In this environment, the predator frequently works closely with small amounts of children, understanding each child’s needs, vulnerabilities and situations. Once a target is located, these vulnerabilities – like tumultuous family setting, loneliness, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, attention-seeking – can be systematically exploited in the following ways:


A predator will initially try to get the child’s trust. This strategy is most difficult to notice as religious communities are frequently tight-knit and personal interaction with clergy is commonplace. Here, the priest can pretend sincere concern in the child’s wellbeing and groeth – both emotional and religious.


As a predator creates a trusting relationship with the potential target and oftentimes their family, the child will begin to rely more and more on the predator for any need it is that the predator is exploiting and fulfilling. The child may spend more 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 target may receive presents from the predator, including valuable, intangible presents like blessings and special recognition.


While grooming progresses, the predator will try to isolate the potential target. This may result in individual counseling sessions, meals or other forms of one-on-one isolated moments.


The predator might begin to de-sensitize the child from reacting negatively to contact, caressing and other behaviors that lead to sexual interaction. This may begin with crossing the physical-touch barrier, or verbally, with inappropriate messages to determine the victim’s reaction to the progression. This will continue until the relationship advances to one of a physical, sexual nature.


Once the sexual relationship is established, the predator will work to keep control of the child and the continuing interaction. The predator will likely want to manipulate the victim by continuing to make the target feel special and worthy. The predator will keep exploiting the victim by whatever methods needed to maintain the inappropriate physical relationship.

Impact on Clergy Abuse Survivors

The effect of childhood assault on the survivor can be severe and life-altering. Several clergy abuse survivors suffer from long-term effects of the abuse including depression, disturbed sleeping, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse and eating patterns, and difficulty creating and keeping healthy relationships. Individualized treatment and support groups can assist victims overcome these effects.

Legally, a survivor of Clergy Sexual Abuse can gain financial compensation from the abuser and, more frequently, from the church for its failure to protect the victim from the abuse, as well as failures or deficiencies in its process of reviewing and responding to reports of assault. If you are a victim of Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse and would like to confidentially discuss your experience and your legal options, we are ready to speak with you.