Since the 1950s, more than 18,000 allegations of sexual abuse have been made against clergy members, the Boston Globe reports. More recently, there has been an influx in the filing rate of these cases according to newly-released data.
The annual report from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which covers July 2015 to June 2016, said 911 more victims came forward with allegations the church deemed credible. The vast majority of these claims were from adults who said they were abused when they were children. A large number of allegations were reported in Minnesota where the legislature amended the statute of limitations to allow additional victims to come forward.
This data highlights the fact that more work still needs to be done in addressing the clergy abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. It refutes the popular contention that all of the victims have already come forward. The numbers demonstrate that sexual abuse victims are empowered by state legislation allowing them to bring civil claims. It is forth this reason that more states – including New York – should pass legislation giving victims more time to bring their claims. In the absence of such legislation, many victims continue to suffer in silence. The data further shows that victims gain collective strength in numbers and are likely to come forward after being empowered by high-profile cases in the media or in the case of Spotlight, the Academy-award winning film which exposed the scope of the cover-up of clergy sexual abuse by the leadership of the Archdiocese of Boston.
Farmer Jaffe attorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in filing lawsuits nationwide involving abuse of children of many religious denominations, including the Catholic Church. You can reach Adam Horowitz at [email protected] or call our law firm at (954) 603-8394.