How To Go About Sexual Abuse Claims Against Churches

How To Go About Sexual Abuse Claims Against Churches

Churches are often represented as safe, comfortable, and happy places for both children and adults. But there are instances where that safety and comfort are destroyed.

For sexual abuse survivors who lost faith in churches, it’s hard to speak up and take action. Most survivors wonder if you can even sue churches.

With the right sexual abuse lawyer on your side, yes you can. You can hold the institution itself responsible for its actions, as well as the individual. There are several instances where institutions (such as churches) are just as liable as their representatives or employees.

Below is everything you need to know about sexual abuse claims against churches.

What is Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse is defined as touching someone else in a nonconsensual way. Many times, abuse is initiated by an adult leader who uses their title to take advantage of a minor. Anyone under the age of 18 cannot legally consent to any sexual act with an adult.

Sexual abuse cases are hard for both adults and minors to address. These cases tend to become complex and tedious. Both victims and their loved ones feel guilt and shame, so it’s vital to have a sexual abuse lawyer on your side.

How To Claim Sexual Abuse Against Churches

Although the institution itself did not commit the act of sexual abuse, it’s still liable for harm done to victims. It’s the institution’s responsibility to track and investigate its employees. If any official knew of the abuse or even suspected it, their failure to help enables you to sue for damages.

To protect its reputation, many cases show that church officials often find ways to cover up reports of abuse. The physical and mental abuse associated with this horrendous act may not show until years after the abuse – this makes institutions defensive based on the statute of limitations.

Each state has different statutes related to sexual abuse. In many cases, you can file more than one claim against the institution and/or individual. An experienced sexual abuse lawyer can help determine which of these limitations apply to your unique case. A lawyer can also help gather evidence of the abuse and prove if it was previously reported to church officials.


Victims of sexual abuse have many options available today than ever before. Not long ago, minors who were sexually abuses were limited to the time they could pursue criminal charges. Today, the laws and regulations have changed and minors can bring civil lawsuits against institutions like churches.

Suing a church can feel morally wrong, but if you were a victim of abuse in that church, filing a claim needs to be done. Not only because it’s the right thing to do for justice, but because you and/or the victim need closure.

Churches are legally held to a standard of protecting its people, especially children. If it fails to do so, it needs to be held accountable. Partner with an experienced and understating sexual abuse lawyer who can help hold the abuser and enablers responsible for the harm they have done to you.