Church Sexual Assault Lawyers in Houston, Texas
If you or someone you love was a victim of church sexual assault, the church sexual assault lawyers in Houston, Texas, at Blizzard Law, PLLC, may be able to help you seek compensation for damages and losses. Reports show that globally hundreds of thousands of people may have been victims of sexual assault or sexual abuse perpetrated by Church clergy, with many of these individuals being children.
Sexual assault accusations aren’t limited to the Catholic Church. Major investigations performed by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News found instances of sexual assault and abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention dating back to the 1960s. Accusations included all levels of church leadership including church volunteers, staff, and authorities. The Southern Baptist Convention scandal was similar in many ways to the Catholic Church scandal, where reports of sexual assault were made to church officials, but in some cases these reports weren’t passed on to police or were actively covered-up, allowing leadership and church officials to continue to victimize church members and even children.
These two church organizations aren’t the only churches where sexual assault has been reported. Other churches, including the Mormon church, other Protestant denominations, mosques, and Jewish temples have also been locations where church sexual assault has taken place. While there has been an increased awareness of sexual assault in church settings, there continue to be ongoing issues with bringing the conduct to light. This is especially true when it happens in a church setting. Many victims might be frightened to come forward and, in some cases, the church has taken steps to cover up the abuse. If you were a victim of church sexual assault in any church setting, the Houston, Texas, lawyers at Blizzard Law, PLLC, may be able to help you. Our lawyers can review your case, identify perpetrators, gather evidence, protect your rights, and fight for justice.
Why Church Sexual Assault Sometimes Goes Unreported in Houston, Texas
For most people who attend church, their church is a spiritual sanctuary, a place of prayer, peace, love, kindness, and hope. Yet, for those who have suffered church sexual assault, the violation is not just physical, but also spiritual. People turn to their church for community, but when a leader or church member perpetrates a sexual assault, the community can become a place of violation and isolation. The damage can be immense.
The power dynamics at play in a church setting, along with the strict gender roles, and the power men have over women in these settings, can make it very difficult for church sexual assault survivors to come forward. Church settings can also be incredibly hierarchical. If a person in a position of power in the church commits heinous acts, it can be difficult for others to report it. Many pastors and church leaders are celebrated and respected members of their communities. Church sexual assault can remain hidden and unreported for years. This is because the people most likely to know that sexual assault is occurring are often believers or members of the church. Despite mandatory reporting laws in the U.S. requiring people to report suspected child sexual abuse, there have been reports of cover-ups.
If you or someone you love was a victim of church sexual assault in Houston, Texas, you and your family might be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses. It can be very difficult to speak up. Yet, as more victims speak up and come forward, more people are able to end the cycle of violence. The Houston, Texas church sexual assault lawyers at Blizzard Law, PLLC are here to help you. Our church sexual assault lawyers can review the details of your case, gather evidence, and fight to hold perpetrators accountable. By speaking up you can make your church a safer place for all.. Contact the Houston, Texas church sexual assault attorneys at Blizzard Law, PLLC today to learn more.
What is Church Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault involves any non-consensual sexual contact. This can include unwanted touch or forcing a person to perform any sexual act without their consent. Sexual assault can include any touching, even with clothes on, without a person’s consent. Unwanted nakedness, sexually suggestive language, or other sexual acts can also constitute sexual assault. Church sexual assault is any kind of unwelcome or nonconsensual sexual act that occurs in a church setting.
If you have been sexually assaulted in a church setting, the violation can feel overwhelming. In many cases, people are sexually assaulted by a member of the church they trust, admire, or respect. It can be very difficult to come forward as a survivor of church sexual assault. If you were a victim of church sexual assault, reach out to the Houston, Texas church sexual assault lawyers at Blizzard Law, PLLC today.
Long-Term Effects of Church Sexual Assault
Church sexual assault can have major long-term effects on survivors, their families, and the larger religious community. Church sexual assault can also leave survivors with PTSD, ongoing trauma, and other psychological challenges. Church sexual assault survivors can suffer from similar symptoms that sexual assault survivors experience. People who survive sexual assault may experience feelings of shame, guilt, denial, or the survivor may even minimize what happened to protect themselves psychologically. It is important to keep in mind that a victim of church sexual assault may initially recount a story about the sexual assault. This story may not reflect the full horror of the violation. People who suffer from church sexual assault may isolate themselves, may struggle with setting healthy boundaries, and may not feel safe trusting other people or even themselves. Ongoing effects of sexual assault can include depression, anxiety, fear, lost sleep, flashbacks, disassociation, panic attacks, isolation, paranoia, and problems in relationships.
People who suffer from church sexual assault have the added trauma of having suffered spiritual abuse or a spiritual violation, especially if the person performing the assault was a trusted spiritual advisor or leader. People who suffer from church sexual assault may experience a crisis of faith or find themselves struggling to join faith-based communities. When church sexual assault is reported—if it is reported—victims may not receive the same level of support they might expect if the sexual assault had been perpetrated by a stranger. It is possible that the sexual assault may be denied because it can lead to a crisis of faith in the community. Sexual assault in a church setting can therefore be uniquely isolating.
The trauma resulting from church sexual assault can be immense. If you or someone you love has been sexually assaulted in a religious setting, reach out to the church sexual assault lawyers in Houston, Texas, at Blizzard Law, PLLC. Our church sexual assault attorneys in Houston, Texas, can connect you with the resources you may need to heal. They can also help you seek compensation to cover your damages and losses. Victims of church sexual assault may need ongoing counseling. The church sexual assault lawyers in Houston, Texas, at Blizzard Law, PLLC, may be able to help you get the resources you need to heal.
Clergy Sexual Assault Lawyers in Houston, Texas
If you have been sexually assaulted by a member of the clergy in Houston, Texas, the clergy sexual assault lawyers at Blizzard Law, PLLC, may be able to help you. We work closely with victims and families to understand their case, gather evidence, and hold perpetrators and institutions accountable. If you or someone you love has been violated by a member of the clergy, you have rights. Contact the clergy sexual assault lawyers in Houston, Texas, at Blizzard Law, PLLC, today.