Washington DC Sexual Abuse in a Religious Organization Lawyer

When a religious leader misuses the power they have been entrusted with to abuse or harm individuals under their authority, they should be held legally accountable for the wrongs they have committed. If you or a member of the family has been abused or assaulted by a church official, figure in the Catholic church, or someone in the clergy, you should not have to suffer silently for the abuse you have experienced. A Washington DC sexual abuse in a religious organization lawyer could walk alongside you at each phase of the legal process and aggressively advocate for the fair compensation you deserve.

A skilled sexual abuse attorney could explain the laws governing a potential claim for damages and explain what recourse may be possible in your specific situation.

Forms of Abuse or Assault

A Washington DC attorney could assist survivors who have suffered psychological, emotional, and physical sexual abuse at the hands of a religious leader or organization. Sexual abuse or assault could take the form of nonconsensual sexual intercourse as well as groping, stalking, and other forms of harassment.

Compelling someone to engage in sexual behaviors when they otherwise would not, intimidating someone to perform sexual acts, child pornography, indecent exposure, and fondling would also form the basis of a sexual abuse claim. It bears mentioning that physical contact need not be made between the alleged offender and the accuser in order for a certain type of behavior to be considered abusive. For example, forcing a child to watch sexual acts being performed would be considered a visual form of sexual abuse.

Numerous Parties May Be Found Liable for Sexual Abuse in a Religious Organization

It is not uncommon for more than one party to be found liable in sexual abuse cases involving a religious organization. Often, both the abuser and the organization may be culpable for damages and related losses. Religious organizations are bound by a legal obligation to hinder foreseeable harm from coming to individuals who are members of their congregation or under their authority.

Therefore, when a religious body neglects this duty of care and a member is the survivor of sexual abuse or assault, the church or organization could be liable for the damages resulting from their default. For example, if a religious organization fails to heed claims of abuse against an employee, and that individual is later found to have abused a church member, the claimant could be well within their rights to legal action against the institution for their negligence.

Financial Compensation

A sexual abuse in a religious organization attorney in Washington DC may claim several types of damages on behalf of the injured plaintiff. The claimant could receive economic damages for their lost income and medical bills. Non-economic damages for future reduced earning potential due to inability to work, psychological anguish, pain, and suffering may be available as well. In certain cases, the court could also award punitive damages to the plaintiff to punish the defendant for egregious misconduct.

Code of the District of Columbia § 12-301 permits survivors of abuse who were 35 or younger when the incident occurred until the day they turn 40 to start a lawsuit. Individuals 35 and up when the abuse or assault happened would have five years from the date of the occurrence to file their claim. If the individual does not immediately realize that abuse has taken place, the law allows them five years from when they reasonably should have learned of the abuse to begin a claim.

Discuss Your Legal Options with a Washington DC Sexual Abuse in a Religious Organization Attorney

To better understand your legal options in a sexual abuse case, you should consult with a Washington DC sexual abuse in a religious organization lawyer. An attorney could formulate a thorough strategy tailored to the facts of your claim and assert a powerful case for financial damages in support of your best interests. Book your legal consultation with a Washington DC sexual abuse lawyer today.