The Catholic Church and its associated organization have been rocked by child sexual abuse allegations over the last decade. This includes the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). This organization is centered on young adults and sports, similar to the YMCA, but focused on Catholic teachings. If you or a loved one have been sexually abused while participating in the CYO, please seek assistance from the child sexual abuse attorneys at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger.
Sexual Abuse Is a Major Problem for Catholic Organizations
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), approximately one out of every 10 children are sexually abused before they reach the age of 18. Making this even more abhorrent is the fact that approximately 90% of children who are victims of sexual abuse know their abuser. Unfortunately, we have seen that this often means that the perpetrators of sexual abuse are Catholic clergy members or other members of Catholic organizations.
While the focus of sexual abuse allegations within the Catholic Church has centered on clergy members, there have been many allegations of sexual abuse made against Catholic Youth Organization staff and volunteers. The purpose of CYO groups is to guide young Catholics towards living a Christian lifestyle, and they are known for their organized sports programs, including:
- Track and field
- Drum corps
Due to the nature of these organizations, adult mentors and coaches have ample opportunity to groom victims into a sexual relationship over longer periods of time.
How Will An Attorney Help This Case?
Securing a child sexual abuse attorney is vital for these cases. A skilled attorney will have the legal experience and resources necessary to conduct a thorough investigation into your case. Your attorney will be responsible for gathering evidence of the abuse as well as any instances of a cover-up concerning your case as well as similar cases by the CYO or larger Catholic diocese.
Your attorney will work diligently to negotiate a settlement that is fair for what you have been through so you are able to have some closure and move on from this incident.
Understanding AB 218
Assembly Bill 218 became law on January 1, 2020, in California and gives victims of child sexual abuse until the age of 40 or until five years after they discover the adult psychological injury caused by the abuse to file civil lawsuits against the perpetrators. Previously, victims only had until they were 26 years old or three years after they discovered the abuse to file a lawsuit.
This law also allows victims to obtain compensation from any organization which covered up the abuse. AB 218 also allows any victims of child sexual abuse who were previously barred from filing a lawsuit due to time constraints three years to do so.
We Are Ready to Get to Work for You Today
If you or somebody you care about has been sexually abused while participating in a Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) event or activity, seek legal assistance now. At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, we are dedicated to helping victims of child sexual abuse secure the compensation they are entitled to. This can include pain and suffering damages, coverage of any counseling necessary, as well as punitive damages against the perpetrators of the abuse or those who covered it up. Call us today at (415) 889-2919 or fill out an online contact form for a free consultation of your case.