Dolman Law Group is not just injury lawyers. We also represent survivors of sexual abuse who are looking to hold religious leaders accountable for their actions.
We invite those survivors in the Orlando area who wish to pursue legal action for clergy sexual abuse to speak with us today. Our Orlando clergy abuse lawyers are here to help you navigate the legal process.
Why Do Survivors Wait to Tell Their Story?
Suffering sexual abuse is incredibly traumatic. Additionally, there can be great shame associated with the event. They may feel that going public or bringing the incident up to a group of people will bring them more judgment than sympathy and compassion.
Coming forward with their story is an extremely emotional undertaking that requires patience, understanding, and support from others.
Why Do They Come Forward?
Every survivor has different reasons for coming forward with their story. Some want closure, some want justice, and others want to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else. Whatever the reason may be, there is no one “right” reason for seeking compensation for damages sustained.
Dolman Law Group is not concerned with the reason. We want to provide honest, straightforward, and trustworthy personal injury attorneys with advice for those dealing with the consequences of clergy sexual abuse.
It's Not Just One Specific Religious Group Committing These Acts
Although the news tends to focus on clergy sexual abuse cases mostly out of the Mormon or Catholic Church, these incidents are not isolated to one religion. Clergy abuse can and does happen in other Christian denominations and Muslim and Jewish houses of worship, as well.
Sexual Abuse Survivors Have Legal Options
With new legislation in place, survivors have more legal options afforded to them. Florida has enacted legislation that allows the revival of some cases of sexual abuse that happened decades ago. If one cannot prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt” as a criminal charge in court, survivors can still seek compensation and justice through civil claims.
Pursuing Monetary Compensation in an Orlando Clergy Abuse Case
Money won't undo the abuse that has happened, but it can help compensate for some of the treatments and difficulties you may have faced as a result. Every case is different, but common damages you can seek in a financial settlement include:
- Mental health counseling and related prescriptions
- Medical expenses for past and future care
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Impaired relationship
Criminal Charges vs. Civil Claims
Victims who take action at a criminal level trial may still seek compensation on a civil level. Our attorneys are ready to help our clients navigate this process, as it will take careful coordination between cases.
When these cases go to court, attorneys may seek the help of other survivors to act as witnesses. We understand and respect that not every survivor is willing to do this. However, should a hesitant survivor agree to tell their story in court, we will counsel them properly.
What to Do Before Starting the Legal Process
For any victim of sexual abuse, the first thing we advise our clients, whether potential or not, is to build a support group. Surround yourself with people who will help keep you on your feet, defend you when others reproach you, and can help you work through the emotional struggle you're facing.
When you retain the services of an attorney on our team, this support helps the survivor be in a stronger headspace and more prepared to undertake the legal action necessary to navigate an abuse case.
Short and Long-Term Effects of Sexual Abuse by Clergy Members
It is important for those the survivor calls on for help to know that they may be dealing with some long-term effects of sexual abuse. The physical scars of abuse may be temporary, but the psychological ones can last much longer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), common physical injuries include:
- Bruises around genitalia
- Sexually transmitted infections
The CDC further explains that those who were abused as a child are at far more risk of developing:
- Heart and lung issues
- Chronic pain
- Reproductive health issues
Psychological Effects of Clergy Abuse
The psychological trauma goes beyond post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), though PTSD is perhaps the most pervasive result of sexual abuse. Survivors can develop:
- Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, etc.)
- Personality disorders (avoidant personality disorder, etc.)
- Anxiety disorders
- Risky sexual behaviors
Perhaps the survivor has already been through years of psychological treatment for abuse. Still, reliving any part of the incident can bring up the intense trauma of the experience, and the survivor should have their “team” to be there for them.
Our Orlando Attorneys Support Clergy Sexual Abuse Victims
We admire the bravery and strength of those who come forward with their stories seeking justice for themselves and others. Dolman Law Group is ready to support and represent survivors and their families as they undertake their claims.
Here's how your attorney can help:
- Interview witnesses and collect evidence
- Handle communication with the liable party's legal representation
- Negotiate a settlement
- Represent your case in court
We do not charge for our services before or during the process as we work on a contingency fee basis. Essentially, we only take a fee we previously agreed upon from the final settlement should your case rule favorably.
Get Help from the Orlando Clergy Abuse Lawyers at Dolman Law Group Today
If you have any questions about the legal process, give Dolman Law Group a call now. We offer clergy abuse victims a free consultation to get your claim started.
1701 Park Center Drive, Suite #240-G
Orlando, FL 32835
Phone: (407) 759-4565