Piest child abuse

Recognizing Priest Child Abuse and Molestation

Everyone wants to protect their children. It is a natural instinct. Unfortunately, there are many instances where children are abused by adults they should be able to trust, such as priests and members of the clergy. According to statistics, around 4% of Catholic priests have sexually violated a minor at some time during the last half of the 20th century. Although priest child abuse is not a new problem, it has only one solution. We must recognize the signs in order to stop the abuse immediately. It is not an easy topic to discuss. However, when we know the signs, we can work together to protect our children.

How Common Is Priest Child Abuse?

This is not a fun conversation, but the unfortunate truth is that priest and clergy child abuse is too common. Reports over the last few years have identified thousands of clergy members who have been credibly accused, and that is just in the United States. If you suspect that your child is being abused, whether physically or sexually, by their priest, it is important that you seek legal assistance. Recognizing the signs of abuse is vital.

What Are the Signs of Child Abuse?

There is no perfect way to know if a child has been abused, but there are things that can help you keep kids safe. First, listen. If a child is trying to tell you about something bad in their life, pay attention. You might find important warnings.

Unfortunately, many kids will not directly vocalize a traumatic event. For this reason, it is important to recognize common behavioral changes that often accompany such a moment. These changes may include:

  • An unusual new fear
  • A sudden onset of difficulty concentrating
  • Eating, sleeping, or hygiene changes
  • Regressive behaviors (such as bed-wetting)
  • Demonstrating sexual knowledge beyond their developmental age
  • Sexual themes in expression (like art, stories, or play)
  • Vague mentions of secrets or adult behaviors

Remember the resounding theme: changes to behavior that you cannot readily explain. If you recognize these or other signs of abuse, it is important to talk to your child. It is also imperative that you seek legal guidance so you know the steps that you need to take moving forward.

Get Help Now

At The Cifarelli Law Firm, we understand how difficult it can be to see your child deal with such a traumatic and overwhelming situation. For this reason, we are here to help. Let us be a dedicated resource that you can use for strength and guidance to ensure the person who caused your child harm is held accountable. With over two and a half decades of experience, Attorney Tom Cifarelli remains committed to helping individuals get justice after being harmed. Having been recognized as one of the top 50 attorneys in Orange County, you can rest assured knowing that you can depend on our team to help your family get justice. Protect your rights today by calling our Irvine, CA, office at 949-502-8600 to schedule a consultation.

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