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Religious Organization Sexual Abuse Cases

Florida Sex Abuse Lawyers Pursuing Claims For Those Abused by the Clergy

Sexual predators often take the form of individuals claiming to be of assistance. An unfortunate common example of this is individuals within various religious organizations. When a priest, pastor, or other such individual takes advantage of a member of their congregation, the broader institution may possibly be held liable. Unfortunately, such conduct often goes unreported. If you or a family member have been the victim of such abuse, then it is important that you report the situation to law enforcement immediately. It is also important that you speak with an attorney so that your rights remain protected.

Churches and Religious Groups Owe a Duty of Care to Their Congregation

A religious organization has a duty to ensure the safety of anyone who attends their services or otherwise interacts with the group. Such organizations may also have a fiduciary duty to their members due to the special relationship which exists between clergy and parishioners. This fiduciary duty means that religious groups have an obligation to prioritize the best interests of the parishioners. Common claims against a church or other institution can include:

  • Breach of fiduciary duty for failing to protect the best interests of the victim
  • The negligent hiring, retention, or supervision of clergy members or other personnel
  • Failing to report known acts of sexual abuse

Many of the offenses committed by clergy members involve the sexual abuse of children. Depending on when the abuse occurred, there is no statute of limitations in the State of Florida for actions against a religious institution if the child was under 16 years of age at the time of the incident. FL Stat. 95.11(9). So, even if the abuse happened years ago, you still may be eligible to bring a claim.

Report Sexual Abuse As Soon As Possible

It is understandable that many acts of sexual abuse go unreported when religious institutions are involved. Victims and their families are often in shock at what has occurred and many simply do not want to believe that such a thing can happen. Furthermore, some may believe that reporting the incident would somehow violate their faith. It is important to understand, however, that not reporting the incident likely results in two things. First, such horrific acts will be inflicted upon others. Second, you will not be compensated for your damages. These are two reasons why it is important to contact law enforcement immediately.

Contact Our Florida Sex Abuse Lawyers If You Were Victimized by a Religious Institution

If you or a family member (including your child) have been preyed upon by a religious institution, it is crucial that you contact a lawyer immediately after contacting law enforcement. Our Florida sex abuse lawyers are well aware that the situation you are facing is difficult and is causing you grief. We will take the appropriate steps to protect your interests. We focus on this area of the law so that you may focus on moving your situation forward. Contact us online or by email at lewisteam@searcylaw.com. Also, feel free to call us at 800-780-8607. We look forward to speaking with you.

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