Legal Options for Victims Abused in a Church
Attorney contributor Brian Kent, an experienced sexual abuse lawyer in Illinois, represents victims of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits. In an interview, Brian shared his insights on sexual abuse in a church.
Kent, in our interview, discussed the obligation of a church to protect its members. He highlighted that sometimes sexual predators exploit their victims by placing themselves in positions of trust and power to commit abuse. This can be demonstrated in religious organizations as we’ve seen numerous religious leaders charged with congregation members’ sexual abuse. Unfortunately, this occurs across all ages, including youth congregation members.
Kent later mentions the responsibility of religious organizations to uphold the safety of their congregation members. He stated that religious organizations must do their best to uphold all congregation members’ safety and prevent sexual abuse. In some cases, sexual abuse happens as a result of negligence by the religious organization. For example, if previous sexual misconduct complaints were filed against active clergy members or workers and are ignored, the religious organization is being negligent. In negligence cases by religious organizations, the victim of sexual abuse and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit.
Apostolic Assembly Church in Chicago, IL