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div>Church Sexual Abuse includes a wide-range of immoral and unacceptable behaviors often commited on kids and adolescents by predatory clergy or other church employees involving sexual assault of varying amounts. The sexual assault can be a one-time, non-consensual scroll barevent or it may involve several acts inside an ongoing interaction. For example, an ongoing “trusting” relationship with a young child spawned by the predatory behavior of a church associate, blanketed by the trust and reverence imputed to a priest, leading to non-consensual sexual assault acts of molestation.
Within nearly all alleged Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse situations, the short-coming by the Clergy member’s superior to fully, adequately and immediately report the offense to police and other authorities, or the continuing failure to investigate, address and deal fully with the occurrence amplifies the effects on the abuse survivor, the community and potentially others. Recent Church Sexual Assault cases reported in the press highlight these short-comings, that includes “pass-the-trash” situations when the perpetrator frequently a clergy in the Catholic Church, is quietly transferred from one parish to another only to continue his predatory, criminal action on an unsuspecting parish community.
Priest and Clergy Sexual Abuse & Retribution
Not a day passes without a media headline reporting regarding sexual abuse and molestation of children by pedophile clergy, or the aftermath of the abuse on the survivors and their families. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse from a priest or other clergy member, these stories are likely to act as an echo chamber, replaying the horror, shame, guilt and various unwanted feelings hurting your well-being. Encouraged by the societal movement and other channels that encourage them to disclose the assault they suffered, victims of assault are increasingly turning to the legal system to compensate them for the lifetime harm and injury they have experienced.
If you are a survivor of assault perpetrated by a member of the clergy, the result of the abuse on your life and core belief system may be immeasurable. Regardless, holding the responsible church and institutions accountable for their crimes and indifference can offer a measure of justice and recompense to abuse survivors. Frequently, victims can leverage their legal rights in confidential mediation thereby avoiding the need for litigation. However, if litigation is required, a motion may be filed where the survivor can remain anonymous.
All predators, to varying amounts, employ predatory tricks which are commonly referred to as grooming, tracking a possible assault victim. Following is a list of grooming behaviors exhibited by predators who are in a position of authority relative to the subordinate child.
Grooming is a major piece of a predator’s strategy. In a church environment, the clergy member is held as God’s representative. In this setting, the predator often works closely with small numbers of children, identifying each child’s needs, weaknesses and circumstances. Once a victim is identified, these vulnerabilities – like violent family setting, isolation, low self-esteem, emotional neediness, attention-seeking – might be systematically leveraged in the following ways:
An assaulter will first work to gain 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 interest in the child’s wellness and groeth – both emotional and religious.
As a predator establishes a trusting relationship with the potential target and oftentimes their family, the child will start to rely more and more on the predator for any need it is that the priest is exploiting and fulfilling. The child will devote more time with the predator, feeling more and more comfortable with the relationship and counting on its stability and security. In addition to attention and affection, the potential target may receive gifts from the predator, including valuable, intangible presents like blessings and special recognition.
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While grooming continues, the predator will try to isola