Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
Survivors of sexual abuse committed by trusted clergy or leaders of the Catholic Church often experienced devasting and lifelong trauma. It is only through the diligent investigations of the last few years that the full extent of the harm done by predatory priests and the Catholic Church has come to light. Many abusers have been protected through cover-ups and reassignments. Similarly, many victims have remained silent for decades.
The Law Office of Andrew Shubin provides vigorous, professional, and compassionate representation to the victims of sexual abuse and their families. If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse, contact our attorney for victims of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church in Arizona. The individuals and institutions that allowed this type of abuse to continue should be held accountable, both criminally and civilly. Call our office at (814) 826-3586 to schedule a free and confidential appointment.
Arizona Statute of Limitations for Child Sexual Abuse Victims of the Catholic Church
The statute of limitations is an Arizona law that sets a deadline for filing cases in either criminal or civil court. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse and advocates for victims have been fighting across the country to amend the statute of limitations for abuse to account for the time, often decades, it takes for survivors to come forward. In 2019, Arizona joined about a dozen other states that reexamined and altered their statute of limitations on child sexual abuse.
In May of 2019, the Arizona state legislature passed a new law that extended the period of time a survivor of sexual abuse has to file a lawsuit. Previously, a victim of childhood sexual abuse by a priest or clergy member of the Catholic Church, or any other individual, was required to file a personal injury lawsuit against their predator or the organization that permitted the abuse to occur within two years after their 18th birthday. In many cases, this did not allow a survivor the necessary time to process their trauma and many victims were unable to seek justice because it took years to confront what had happened to them.
Under Arizona’s new law, a survivor of sexual abuse has 12 years from their 18th birthday, or until the age of 30, to file a lawsuit. Some exceptions to Arizona’s current statute of limitations exist, so it is crucial to speak with an experienced Arizona sexual abuse attorney. For example, if the alleged predator is an employee of a public entity or the claim is against the public entity itself, a notice of claim must be served within 180 days after the abuse or 180 days after the victim’s 18th birthday, whichever is later.
Steps to Take if You Were the Victim of Sexual Abuse by a Member of the Catholic Church in Arizona
The sympathetic lawyers and staff at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin understand that survivors of sexual abuse suffer both physical and emotional trauma. Furthermore, when the abuse is committed by a clergy member, a young victim is unable to fully understand what occurred. Below are some things a survivor could do that could help their case. None are required and if you or a loved one were unable to perform any of these suggestions, you could still have a strong personal injury case.
You should not have any contact with the alleged abuser or the institution or organization that permitted the abuse to occur. Therefore, a survivor should avoid contact with the church or diocese. In many cases, it is understandable that a child is unaware that they should refrain from contact with their abuser, especially if it was a trusted religious leader.
A survivor of sexual abuse should seek medical attention and explain to the doctor what happened. A doctor will keep the information confidential and will take steps to preserve and possible evidence. This could prove invaluable in either a criminal or civil case. Obviously, if the abuse occurred decades ago, medical evidence might not be available.
Victims should try and write detailed notes of the attack. Even if the abuse happened years ago, it is crucial to write down as much information as you remember. Often, the physical act of writing helps to jog a survivor’s memory. It also provides an outline to go over with our Arizona sexual abuse attorney.
You should not destroy or get rid of any potential evidence. This includes any text messages, emails, personal items, clothing, or anything else that could serve as evidence in your case. Whether you pursue a criminal case or compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, our Arizona Catholic Church sexual abuse lawyer will require evidence.
Finally, you should contact Andrew Shubin to review your case, even if it has been years since the abuse. Allow our attorneys and staff the opportunity to review the facts and evidence to determine the strength of your case and help you fight for the justice you deserve.
Contact an Attorney for Victims of Sexual Abuse by the Catholic Church in Arizona Dedicated to Fighting for Survivor’s Rights
Many survivors of sexual abuse suffer through years of intense emotional distress, suicidal thoughts, and feelings of guilt and worthlessness. Sometimes these traumatic effects lead to drug abuse or an inability to work or form intimate relationships. Our attorney for victims of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church in Arizona will fight for your legal rights and help you find the services you might need. Victims of sexual abuse should not feel they are alone. Our compassionate attorneys and staff are available to provide assistance. Call The Law Office of Andrew Shubin at (814) 826-3586 to schedule a confidential and free consultation.