Where Can I File a Claim for My Sexual Abuse?

After deciding to pursue legal action for your abuse in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it may seem confusing and overwhelming figuring out the details of filing a claim. One of the major factors of this process is deciding where you will file the claim.

Typically, you will file a sexual abuse lawsuit based on where the abuse took place. For example, if a sexual abuse survivor was molested by a Latter-day Saint bishop as a child at a ward in Montana, the claim would be filed in Montana.

However, abuse often happens in multiple states or locations. For example, many Scoutmasters in the Boy Scouts of America were bishops in the Mormon Church. Cases have occurred where Mormon Scoutmasters would violently molest children on BSA camping trips, some of which happened out of state. Some states have opened up more lenient statute of limitations (SOL) on civil cases of child sexual abuse, and consulting with a sexual abuse attorney can help you decide where the best place to your claim would be based on the state's SOL.

An attorney can help you decide where to file the lawsuit after considering several crucial factors, including but not limited to the following:

Where You Sexually Abused in the Mormon Church?

If you were sexually abused as a child in the Mormon Church, you are not alone or without options for help. We understand that confronting abuse in the Church is not only frightening but overwhelming to approach; our advocates are here to relieve the stress for you so you can focus on healing, not cutting through red tape.

The sexual abuse attorneys with Abused in Mormonism fight aggressively to make sure your abusers in the Church are held accountable for their crimes against you and fairly compensation you for your pain and suffering. We offer free, no-obligation case consultations with our legal professionals to see if you may be entitled to compensation for your abuse. We promise that the information you share with us is kept confidential, and if you decide filing a claim is not in your best interest, you are in no obligation to our firm.

To speak with a caring representative today, reach out to us at 877.LDS.ATTY.

Governor Cuomo Extends New York’s Child Victims Act due to COVID-19

In wake of the coronavirus pandemic slowing or halting the U.S.’s justice system, Governor Andrew Cuomo decided to extend a window of time that completely removes New York statute of limitations for filing sexual abuse lawsuits. On May 8, Gov. Cuomo extended New York’s Child Victims Act (CVA) an additional five months so sexual abuse survivors could have their day in court. New York stopped accepting new cases in March due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Because of the reduction in court services due to the virus, we are extending that window for an additional five months until January 14th to ensure survivors have the access to the courts that they need to file a claim and get the long-overdue justice they deserve,” Cuomo said after announcing the window extension.

New York’s Child Victims act was passed last year and opened up a one-year look back window that completely removes the state’s statute of limitations for filing civil suits for sexual abuse during that period of time. Even claims that were previously considered “ineligible” under old statute of limitations can be revived during this one-year period of time. So far around 1,700 lawsuits have been filed since the look back window opened, abuse survivors filing claims against abusers and institutions like the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church.

The one-year look back window was set to expire August 14, 2020. Now, the new deadline is scheduled for January 14, 2021.

“As the unemployment rate spikes above 14%, it’s unreasonable to expect survivors of child sexual abuse to do the emotional and legal work necessary to file CVA lawsuits while simultaneously fighting to pay rent and put food on the table,” said Dem. Brad Hoylman, a New York state senator who pushed for the look back window extension.

Were You Sexually Abused in the Mormon Church in New York?

If you were a victim of sexual abuse in New York, you may have an extended chance to pursue justice against your abusers or institutions that covered up your abuse, like the Mormon Church. We understand that filing a claim against the Church that you put your trust into can be difficult. The sexual abuse attorneys with Abused in Mormonism are here to help you through this hard time and value your voice.

We help survivors of sexual abuse in the Mormon Church seek the healing and recovery they need through filing a claim against their abusers and holding them accountable for your abuse.  This extension of the Child Victims Act may give you the time and chance you need to hold your abusers in the Church responsible for their crimes against you. To speak to a caring representative today and see if you may be eligible to file a claim for your abuse, contact Abused in Mormonism today at 877.LDS.ATTY.

Utah HB90: How Does This Law Help LDS Sexual Abuse Survivors?

A bill proposed for the 2020 legislation would require all Utah clergy, including those in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to become mandatory reporters of child abuse. Sponsored by Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, HB90 would remove clergy members’ exemption for reporting sexual abuse to authorities. This new law would not just apply to the Catholic Church but would impact other religions that keep confessions confidential such as Easter Orthodox, Lutherans, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormon Church is Utah’s most predominant faith, so thousands of followers will be impacted if HB90 is passed.

One of the major factors of sexual abuse being quieted or unreported in the Mormon Church is because sexual abuse reports are usually confessed to LDS bishops. Bishops are the “front line” clergy of the LDS church, so they are usually the first to hear the confessions of not just children who have been abused, but confessions from molesters that they abused a child.

In the LDS church, a bishop’s judgement is often the final word in taking care of matters in the ward. However, because bishops are either undertrained to handle sexual abuse allegations or other serious conduct involving ward members, many bishops make poor decisions that result in damage and trauma to innocent children. If HB90 is passed, bishops will likely have to report all confessions of sexual abuse to the authorities, giving more sexual abuse survivors in the Church a chance for healing and justice against their abusers.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune,  in response to HB 90 LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said this that "the church would need to review the bill and its implications before taking a position.”

Were You Sexually Abused While in the Mormon Church?

If you were sexually abuse in the Mormon Church, you are not alone. Other survivors who were abused by elders or members in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have stepped forward, shared their stories, and sought to hold the Church accountable for quieting their abuse and not protecting children from molesters in the Church. Many have, in fact, held the Church accountable for their abuse and have recovered millions in compensation to help them heal from their abuse-related injuries.

If you or a loved one were sexually abused in the Mormon Church, we have experienced sexual abuse attorneys standing by to fight for your right to healing and recovery. The attorneys with Abused in Mormonism are dedicated to protecting your rights, and we value the trust you put in us to handle your case with care and concern. To see if you may be eligible to file a claim for your abuse, give us a call today or fill out a contact form for your free case consultation.

Is It Too Late for Me to File a Claim Against the Mormon Church for Sexual Abuse?

Some of the most frequently asked questions we hear at Abused in Mormonism is whether or not time has run out for an abuse survivor to file a claim against the Mormon Church.

“Is it too late for me to file a claim?”

“Am I too old to file a claim?”

“Did I wait too long to file a claim?”

Usually, your ability to file a civil claim depends on where the abuse happened. The statute of limitations, or length of time for filing a civil lawsuit, for sex abuse claims differs from state to state.

Changed Statute of Limitations on Sexual Abuse

For many years, states have been very inflexible about their statute of limitations on sexual abuse, preventing many survivors from pursuing justice and healing for their abuse in civil court. However, due to the tireless work of advocates and sexual abuse survivors, some state legislatures have listened to the need for more compassionate laws surrounding statute of limitations on child sexual abuse.

Several states around the U.S. have provided the following opportunities for abuse survivors:

List of States with “Look Back” Windows for Sexual Abuse Claims

Why Do I Need a Lawyer for my Sexual Abuse Case?

Because many of these states’ statute of limitations are incredibly short, talking with a sexual abuse lawyer right away is important.  An experienced sexual abuse attorney will better be able to advise you on whether or not your case is still eligible to file a claim. Many times child sex abuse victims miss their chance to pursue justice because they waited too long, so coming forward now to see if you are eligible is vital to secure your legal rights.

An experienced sexual abuse lawyer will possess the legal know-how to help you make informed decisions about your case, so you can feel confident and at peace with how your case is handled. We can even advise you on who you can file a claim against if you were abused in the Mormon Church.

While we understand compensation cannot fix the crimes the past, it can help hold the Mormon Church accountable for your abuse and compensate you for financial burdens such as therapy and counseling.

We know recounting your abuse in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be terrifying and uncomfortable. So, we want you to know we are here for you, are available around the clock to talk whenever you are comfortable, and have resources that could be helpful in your recovery from sexual abuse.

If you were abused as a child by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you are not alone and without options. Please call us today or fill out our contact form for your no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation. We are here to help you on your road to recovery. Call (877) 537-2889 today to speak with a representative now.

LDS Congregation Told Not to Research Sex Abuse Case by Bishop

A recent scandal revealed a bishop in the Mormon Church told a congregation not to look into the details of a child sex abuse crime in their stake and ward. ABC4 Utah received an audio recording from a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, depicting how a bishop chose to explain, or, not explain the circumstances surrounding the case.

According to the bishop, a member of the Mormon Church was arrested for creating and possessing giant amounts of child pornography. The bishop’s name reveals anonymous, along with the name ad location of the LDS congregation in question, to protect the victims’ identities.

“We knew at some point that this day would come and we would have to make an announcement and let you be aware of what’s going on and the facts so that there would be no speculation,” the anonymous bishop said in the recording. “The appropriate measures have been taken in a ward and a stake arena to talk to families who he was near or who associated with him and it’s been discussed with them.”

However, following this statement, the bishop proceeded to ask the church members to not look into the details of the abuse.

“It’s up to us to stop the speculation and the discussion, it’s not our news to discuss, it’s our burden to share and help provide an atmosphere that the family can start to heal at some point.

The bishop followed up with asking the congregation to come to him personally if they want more information.

According to experts in child sex abuse cases, communication and open communication is extremely important in order to prevent future cases of abuse, not silence. ABC4 Utah interviewed Laurieann Thorpe, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Utah (PCAU) who provided advice for those wondering how to address sexual abuse reports.

“The number one thing is to talk about it, with the appropriate terms so that we’re openly addressing that there is a possibility always in any circumstance of child sexual abuse,” Thorpe explained.

To read the full story and learn more about how to help prevent child sex abuse, click here. To come forward and talk to a lawyer about your rights after being abused in the Mormon Church, call us today at 877.537.2889.