Houston Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyers

Thousands of sexual abuse allegations against clergy members have been made in the United States. The trauma from this abuse can have lasting effects on survivors, affecting their ability to live their best lives. 

Have you or a loved one been the victim of clergy abuse in the Houston, Texas, area? If so, a Houston clergy abuse lawyer at Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs can help you understand your options for holding wrongdoers accountable so you can move forward. Contact our Houston personal injury lawyer today to learn more.

What is Clergy Sexual Abuse?

Clergy sexual abuse occurs when someone with authority within a religious organization uses their position of power to take sexual advantage of those in their congregation. Some targets may be more vulnerable to clergy sexual abuse than others. For example, investigations into the matter often find that children are common victims.

Common Forms of Clergy Sexual Abuse

 Clergy sexual abuse takes many forms. Common examples of clergy sexual abuse include:

  • Unwanted sexual contact
  • Sexual conversations
  • Sending sexual content through phone, email, etc.
  • Any non-consensual actions, behaviors, or harassment

Unfortunately, sexual abuse victims might not understand they are experiencing abuse. In cases involving child sexual abuse, a young child may not realize when a religious authority figure is abusing their authority.

Signs a Person is Being Sexually Abused

Many different signs may indicate a person is experiencing clergy sexual abuse. Here are some common signs to watch out for:

  • Changes in mood and behavior (such as acting out)
  • New fears, which may center around a particular place or clergy member
  • In children, exhibiting knowledge or understanding of sexual topics beyond their years
  • In children, reverting to earlier childhood behaviors, which may include coping mechanisms like thumb-sucking
  • Indications that one is uncomfortable with physical touch
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Diet changes
  • Itchiness and/or pain/discomfort near the genital area
  • Bleeding near the genitals or rectum
  • Stomachaches
  • Changes in work performance or academic performance

If you believe someone you love may be the victim of clergy sexual abuse, discuss your concerns with them gently. Be aware that they might not feel comfortable answering your questions truthfully. For example, a child might fear the religious authority of the person abusing them. Their abuser might have told them there would be severe consequences if they revealed what was happening.

Remove your loved one from any situations that leave them vulnerable to clergy sexual abuse. Research the religious organization to determine if there are any procedures for reporting suspected sexual assault. Contact the police and have your loved one examined by medical professionals.

Call our Houston Sexual Abuse Lawyer for More Information

The consequences of clergy sexual abuse are profound, and many survivors struggle in the years following their trauma. For example, they may deal with psychiatric and emotional health issues requiring therapy or other such potentially costly treatment. Fortunately, there may be a path forward.

If you or a loved one has experienced clergy sexual abuse, you may have grounds to pursue a sexual abuse claim against both the individual perpetrator and the system that shielded them. If you’re thinking about taking such legal action, strongly consider enlisting the help of a clergy sexual abuse attorney.

A clergy abuse attorney can review your case and explain your legal options. If you hire a clergy or priest abuse lawyer, they can also help you build a strong case on your behalf, allowing you to pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.

At Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, we understand that clergy sexual abuse is a devastating experience for sexual abuse survivors. A Houston sexual assault lawyer with our firm is prepared to help you seek justice. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online today for a free case review.