IN THE NEWS-2019

To see a yearly archive of CHILD USA in the news, click a year from below

 

The Priest Next Door

Lindsay Schnell and Sam Ruland | November 13, 2019

Hamilton said the church clearly knew the consequences of letting former priests move on quietly after abuses were reported but did so to shield the church and protect its image.

“They cover it up, they run the statute of limitations and then they wash their hands of them,” Hamilton said of the Catholic Church. “It’s never been enough to say, ‘Well, we laicized him,’ or ‘we expelled him.’ It’s like they had a firecracker and they threw it into the public square.”

Game Over Commission Gathers In Philadelphia To Examine Institutional Failures That Led To Larry Nassar Case

CBS3 Staff | November 4, 2019

Sexual abuse in collegiate sports was the focus of a gathering in Philadelphia on Monday. It was the first of many independent hearings by the Game Over Commission.

The commission is examining the institutional failures that led to the Larry Nassar case.

Nassar is a former USA Gymnastics national team doctor who’s behind bars for allegedly assaulting at least 250 young women.

Two Penn professors named Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania

Amelia Walden | October 2, 2019

Penn professors Angela Duckworth and Marci Hamilton were recently named Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf.

The annual Distinguished Daughter event has taken place since 1948 and recognizes women who demonstrate exceptional service through their career or volunteer efforts. On Sept. 25, five other women were honored alongside the pair of Penn professors.

Access to Justice for College Sex Abuse and Assault Victims

Marci Hamilton | September 13, 2019

There is a choice here: protect the perpetrators and the institutions that cover for them, or take the action that proves we do love our college students. This is a simple but revolutionary change in the law that would send a message loud and clear to all campuses: you are accountable for the well-being of your students and athletes, and if you are complicit in a compulsive sexual offender’s attacks on your students, you might just have to pay up and improve your policies. Surely, that is not too much to ask.

Governor Cuomo Takes Action to Ensure Prompt Attention to Legal Claims Filed Under the Child Victims Act

September 12, 2019 | Albany, NY

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is taking action to ensure victims of child sexual abuse receive justice by asking the Department of Financial Services to issue guidance urging New York State insurers with potential exposure to legal claims stemming from the Child Victims Act to act promptly and in good faith. The Governor signed the Child Victims Act, a key part of his 2019 Justice Agenda, into law earlier this year and the one-year look-back window began last month.

Through ‘Lookback Window,’ Jewish Orgs Face Retribution for Child Sex Abuse

Hannah Dreyfus | September 11, 2019

“Across the country, there has been no cause-and-effect relationship between statute of limitation reform and bankruptcy. The issue has become impossible to ignore. None of this is terribly surprising… but it’s certainly gratifying.”

State lawmaker makes motion to subpoena Congressman during hearing on Strauss bill

Brittany Bailey | September 10, 2019

What was supposed to be a routine hearing on legislation tied to the Dr. Richard Strauss investigation ended up with a surprise move that made waves all the way to Washington, D.C.

Rep. Tavia Galonski, a Democrat representing House District 35, made a motion to subpoena Congressman Jim Jordan.

First dissent emerges to bill giving Strauss victims more time to sue Ohio State

Catherine Candisky | September 10, 2019

A group representing several business and trade organizations became the first to publicly oppose a bill that would allow sexual abuse victims of Ohio State University team doctor Richard Strauss to sue the university.

Kevin Shimp of the Ohio Alliance of Civil Justice told lawmakers on Tuesday that House Bill 249 would “create endless liability” by extending the deadline to file lawsuits, allowing civil actions for claims previously barred because so much time had passed since the act.

Child sex abuse victims deserve time to sue

September 9, 2019 | The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Victims of child sex crimes deserve more time to grapple with trauma and contemplate a public lawsuit. The vast majority of states, including Oregon and Idaho, have laws that provide at least a few years longer. The nonprofit Child USA traces a national reform movement on this issue to 2002, the year The Boston Globe brought to light the Catholic Church’s systematic concealment of abusers.

Donna Grethen / Op-Art

Indictment of former Pa. priest signals aggressive new reach by federal prosecutors in clergy sex abuse investigation

Ivey DeJesus | September 9, 2019

Two priests have been convicted; one other awaits trial.

That’s about the sum total of legal action that has taken place in the wake of the Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sex abuse, which identified more than 300 predator priests statewide.

That narrative could be about to change.

Effort to help adult survivors of sex abuse to get aired at Capitol

Sep 7, 2019 | John Finnerty

HARRISBURG — Adult survivors of sexual abuse by priests hope that they will get a chance to share their perspectives at an October hearing scheduled by the Senate Judiciary Committee to examine whether or how to change the statute of limitations law regarding when adults can sue over childhood abuse.

The judiciary committee has scheduled three hours of testimony on Oct. 2 at the Capitol to explore the controversy over whether to change the state’s statute of limitations, according to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Lisa Baker, R-Luzerne County

Priest with Bucks ties charged with lying to FBI

Jo Ciavaglia | September 6, 2019

A former Philadelphia Catholic priest with ties to Bucks County is facing criminal charges for allegedly lying to federal agents about knowing a Philadelphia man and his family who accused him of child sexual abuse in 2013.

The U.S. District Attorney in Philadelphia unsealed the indictment Thursday against Robert Brennan, 81, of Perryville, Maryland, which charges him with four felony counts of making false statements. Brennan briefly served at a Lower Makefield parish decades ago.

Will Child Victims Act prompt false claims of abuse?

Dan Herbeck and Jay Tokasz | September 3, 2019

Marci A. Hamilton, law professor at the University of Pennsylvania and expert on the effects of child sexual abuse, founded and runs Child USA, a national think tank and child advocacy organization.

Hamilton said window legislation that allowed child sex abuse claims from decades ago to be filed in other states did not lead to a rash of false accusations in those states.

Opening the Door

Timothy Darragh | September 2019

Insurers are concerned as states are changing or reconsidering laws allowing child sex abuse victims to sue.

Consider: Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have new laws this year giving childhood sex abuse victims decades more time to file civil lawsuits, according to Child USA, a victim advocacy group. Five of them also are allowing victims whose cases had been time-barred to reopen a “window” on their statutes of limitation, it said.

Dan Herbeck and Jay Tokasz | September 3, 2019

Marci A. Hamilton, law professor at the University of Pennsylvania and expert on the effects of child sexual abuse, founded and runs Child USA, a national think tank and child advocacy organization.

Hamilton said window legislation that allowed child sex abuse claims from decades ago to be filed in other states did not lead to a rash of false accusations in those states.

Clergy abuse victims seeking justice find hope in new court decision

Laura Benshoff | August 30, 2019

“It’s certainly not a substitution for statute-of-limitations reform, but it is an opening,” said Marci Hamilton, attorney and founder of Child USA, a think tank dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect. “It will provide more information to the public about what has really been going on.”

Vote for the most startling statement on the ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’ finale

Tony Ortega | August 27, 2019

Marci Hamilton of Child USA and Jim Ellis, the former FBI agent, both said that civil lawsuits can help bring about change. No institution like the Church of Scientology will change on its own, Hamilton said. But in a civil lawsuit, you can refuse to settle unless the organization stops doing these things to children. She says that approach has produced positive results in other organizations, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Jewish ultra-Orthodox. And Ellis, the former FBI agent, said that civil lawsuits can open a “breach” that law enforcement can then step into. While we were heartened to hear both of these experts put their faith in litigation, it troubled us to hear that private individuals (such as Valerie Haney and Chrissie Bixler) will have to put themselves at risk in court because law enforcement has simply not done its job.

Let’s Restore the Public Good to a Place of Honor and End Vaccination Exemptions Other Than Those Absolutely Necessary

26 AUG 2019 | MARCI A. HAMILTON

The United States is racing toward rolling back our amazing record on ending childhood diseases like measles through the states’ generous exemptions for religious and philosophical objectors. We are going to lose “herd immunity” and have more serious and potentially deadly diseases among us due to these misguided exemptions. These exemptions are a direct attack on the larger public good.

It’s About Time for New York’s Child Victims Act

8/22/2019 | Katha Pollitt

“The victim has the burden of proof,” said Marci Hamilton, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the founder of Child USA, which advocated for the CVA. “In criminal cases, that burden is very high. If they have no corroborating evidence, it won’t go forward.” She is skeptical that innocent people will be convicted. “We have much more sophisticated methods of forensic questioning than in the day care cases of old.” “It’s basically to clear the decks,” she said, referring to the people who were shut out before. “Access to justice is the basic bedrock for civil rights.”
Hamilton added that #MeToo has been all about people making their experiences public—and while that’s important, stories can do only so much. “The focus has been on people telling their stories, and that’s fine,” she said. “But it’s not fair to ask child sex abuse victims to tell their stories if they can’t get justice.”

New York grants a reprieve for victims of child sexual abuse

Aug 15th 2019 | R.W. | NEW YORK

A SURVIVOR of child sexual abuse in New York state previously had until the age of 23 to file charges or a civil claim against his or her abuser. It takes time to reckon with such malevolence, and to feel comfortable talking about the abuse, never mind speaking to police or a lawyer. A third of child sex-abuse victims never disclose that they have been abused. If they do, the average age of victims when they tell their stories is 52, usually too late to file criminal charges or to file a civil claim.

New York opens door to old abuse claims: “I never thought that this moment would come”

August 14, 2019 / 7:47 AM / CBS News

A groundbreaking new law took effect overnight in New York. The Child Victims Act gives sexual abuse survivors, barred by a statute of limitations, a one-year window to file a civil lawsuit against their alleged perpetrators, and institutions like the boy scouts, schools and the Catholic Church.

As the act goes into effect, survivors like James Larney are coming forward.

A unique one-year window for child sex abuse victims to get justice opens this week in New York

August 12, 2019 | Eric Levenson

The Child Victims Act, signed into law on February 14, expands the ways that those who suffered sexual abuse as children can use the legal system to address the damage.In particular, the law specifically said that six months after its passage, there would be a one-year period when any adult survivors of child sexual abuse could sue an abuser or a negligent institution, no matter how long ago the abuse took place.
That one-year “window of justice,” as Child USA CEO Marci Ann Hamilton called it, starts Wednesday.

Boy Scouts failed to stop hundreds of previously unreported sexual predators, a lawsuit alleges

August 6th, 2019 | Kayla Epstein

The average age at which victims of childhood sexual assault choose to disclose the abuse is 52, according to the think tank Child USA.
And more cases could be uncovered. This year, laws reforming the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases will go into effect in 18 states and the District of Columbia, according to Child USA, giving victims of childhood abuse a new opportunity to seek legal recourse.
“We’ve never seen a year like this before,” said Marci Hamilton, Child USA’s founder and chief executive. “I don’t think the public is prepared for this tsunami of information about hidden child sex abuse in our culture.”

Nearly 800 accuse Boy Scouts of failing to protect them from sex abuse as new lawsuit is filed

August 5th, 2019 | Cara Kelly, David Heath and Rachel Axon

Former Scouts have filed hundreds of lawsuits, but many other claims fall outside of the statute of limitations for criminal or civil complaints. That may change as states loosen statutes for child sexual abuse cases.

In the past two years, legislators in 14 states and the District of Columbia passed bills extending the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits relating to child sexual abuse, according to data from CHILD USA. Nine include so-called revival windows that allow individuals to sue over past abuse..

NJ Catholic Church Compensation Program Offers Settlements With A Catch

New Jersey victims of childhood sexual abuse by Catholic Church clergy members may have a tough choice to make. Due to the recent flood of accusations against Catholic priests, bishops, nuns, and other clergy members, the five New Jersey dioceses have established victims compensation programs to financially compensate victims with credible claims of abuse.

Exclusive: Local church abuse victim protesting against Diocese of Norwich

July 18th, 2019 | Roger Susanin, Olivia Lank

University of Pennsylvania professor, Marci Hamilton, who testified along with McGuire about statute of limitations reform at the state capitol, is considered the nation’s leading expert on child sexual abuse and the reluctance of victims to speak out, even decades later.

Sensibly Speaking Podcast #200: Scientology, Freedom of Religion and the Law ft. Marci Hamilton

July 5th, 2019 | Chris Shelton

This week I welcome Dr. Marci Hamilton to the show. She is a legal scholar and accomplished lawyer who has not only argued before the US Supreme Court but specializes in the Establishment Clause of the Bill of Rights, meaning she is an expert on the legal ramifications of freedom of religion. We talk in detail in this episode about Scientology and its legal travails and what rights religious groups do and don’t have in the legal arena. Enjoy!

Thousands of sexual abuse cases likely to be filed under Child Victim’s Act

July 5th, 2019 | Frank Esposito

Marci Hamilton, CEO of CHILD USA, a Philadelphia-based think tank dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect, scoffed at the efforts to prevent the Child Victims Act, and the financial reasons for fighting it.

“For years, we fought for the Child Victims Act to deliver justice to those who experienced horrific abuse, and for years we’ve heard myths propounded that the Church would have no way to compensate victims,” Hamilton said. “This lawsuit by the New York Archdiocese fundamentally illustrates that the bishops knew the dioceses had protection from multiple insurance policies the entire time.”

Marsh thinks upstate dioceses, like Rochester, are in worse shape financially than New York Archdiocese, and expects they’ll have a hard time.

“We expect that many of the diocese upstate will declare bankruptcy, Marsh said. “Many don’t have the assets of the New York Archdiocese.”

The Biggest Deterrent to Reporting Child Sexual Abuse

June 26, 2019 | Hannah Giorgis

Children’s-rights advocates have been working to fix statute-of-limitation laws that stop victims from coming forward later in life.

In the United States, about one-third of child-sexual-abuse victims come forward with their allegations before adulthood. Another third disclose far later in life—the median age is 52—and the rest never reveal their past trauma at all. In recent years, many children’s advocates have looked to shift these low reporting numbers (and correspondingly low rates of prosecution) by addressing a legal hurdle that lies in the way of many victims seeking court-based justice: the statute of limitations.

Sex abuse crisis the focus as US Catholic bishops convene

June 9th, 2019 | David Crary

The California Catholic Conference decried the confession bill as “a clear violation of religious liberty” and noted that priests violating the confidentiality of confession faced excommunication.

University of Pennsylvania professor Marci Hamilton, an expert on child-abuse prevention, said the surge of legislative action is due in part to “the dawning reality for many Americans — including lawmakers — that bishops cannot and will not solve this problem themselves.”

Prosecutors crack down on clergy abuse as bishops gather

Jun 11, 2019 | Juliet Linderman

“That would be an important step because it would set the standard for pursuing justice in these cases,” said Marci Hamilton, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and CEO of CHILD USA, a Philadelphia-based think tank that tracks statute of limitations reforms.

Ohio’s statute of limitations for sex crimes among worst in nation, experts say

May 26th, 2019 | Duane King

“Right now, Ohio is in the dark ages for child sex-abuse victims. There really is no state that’s worse,” said Marci Hamilton, founder and CEO of CHILD USA, a Philadelphia-based think tank that tracks statute of limitations reform in each state.

Several laws in Ohio combine to create a “literal system of deterrence for victims that favors the child predator and institutes that cover up for them,” Hamilton said.

Our view: NJ’s reforms to bring more sex-abuse lawsuits, maybe more reforms

New Jersey last week finally eased its time limits for filing civil lawsuits alleging sexual abuse, culminating a decade of effort energized by new cases against the Roman Catholic Church.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed the sweeping bipartisan reforms of statutes of limitation that have prevented many from seeking damages because too much time had passed since the alleged abuse occurred.

Victims of childhood sexual assault will now have — starting Dec. 1 when the law takes effect — an additional 35 years to sue perpetrators, until they are 55 years old instead of the current limit of 20 years old.

What religion has to say about vaccination

May 17th, 2019 | KRISTIN E. HOLMES

Each new update in the nationwide surge of measles cases takes Dr. Paul Offit back to the battlefield that was Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia during a regional outbreak that began in 1990. By the time it ended the following year, more than 1,400 city and suburban residents had contracted the disease and nine children were dead.

Then an attending physician at the University City hospital supervising the care of young measles patients, Offit “saw how bad it could get,” he recalled. “It was harrowing, like a war zone.”

How will extending statute of limitations in sex abuse cases affect New Jersey?

May 17th, 2019 | Deena Yellin

“The opponents to the law said that it would create a flood of lawsuits that would be impossible to handle, but the truth is that it hasn’t been an overwhelming number in any state,” said Marci Hamilton, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the CEO of CHILD USA, a think tank that seeks to prevent child abuse.She pointed out that there are numerous barriers to people bringing their abusers to court. “Many of the victims have nobody to sue — their abuser could be a babysitter or someone who they don’t know where they are,” she said. “For them, the ability to file a lawsuit is something that would not help them. Others are doing fine in their lives and so they choose not to.”

New Jersey Extends Statute of Limitations for Sex Abuse Victims

May 15, 2019 | Katie Malafronte

According to Professor Marci Hamilton, New Jersey’s law is distinctive because the newly determined window lets those who were sexually assaulted as adults to file lawsuits.

While the Archdiocese of Newark objected to certain parts of the bill, it stressed that overall, the Catholic Church is in favor of bringing justice and healing to victims.

“Survivors of sexual abuse deserve opportunities to seek redress against their abusers,” Murphy said Monday after the signing. “This legislation allows survivors who have faced tremendous trauma the ability to pursue justice through the court system.”

THE COST OF ABUSE | Insurance industry major player in tug-of-war over state law

May 14, 2019 | John Finnerty

The Catholic Church has been the most public opponent of efforts to change state law to allow lawsuits by victims of clerical abuse, but advocates know that there’s another powerful lobby, the insurance industry, that is also exerting pressure to stop the reforms.

The insurance industry attracts less attention from the public, but it commands as much, if not more, attentions from lawmakers.

“Don’t be fooled by the lack of a public presence,” said Marci Hamilton, CEO and academic director of Child USA, the Philadelphia-based think tank that specializes in child abuse law and statute of limitations reform. “They sit in the back room. They don’t testify.”

NJ extends statute of limitations, allows sex abuse victims much more time to sue

13 May, 2019 | Deena Yellin

“Survivors of sexual abuse deserve opportunities to seek redress against their abusers,” Murphy said Monday after the signing. “This legislation allows survivors who have faced tremendous trauma the ability to pursue justice through the court system.”

New Jersey is the 11th state to pass such a statute of limitations bill, and the reform is pending in several other states. But New Jersey’s law is distinctive because the window lets those who were sexually assaulted as adults file lawsuits, said Professor Marci Hamilton of the University of Pennsylvania, who is CEO of CHILD USA.

C’mon Pope Francis: You Can Do Better Than That

10 May 2019 | Marci A. Hamilton

Pope Francis, your Church often takes stands for social justice and the common good. How about shifting from the endless rearrangement of the deck chairs at the Vatican on child sex abuse to instead join the movement to change the system to prevent institution-based abuse and to create justice for child sex abuse victims to benefit the common good? That is a headline that would be worthy of praise, unlike this latest minor change in Vatican policies.

Number of religious land use cases spikes under Trump administration

RLUIPA doesn’t grant exemptions to zoning laws, but it is intended to make sure those laws are not applied disparately. Marci Hamilton, a legal scholar in church-state litigation, said RLUIPA is “an awful law” that usurped authority from states and local communities to determine land use because they end up threatened with millions of dollars in litigation over claims of discrimination, which she said is extremely rare.

“The reality is these lawsuits divide communities,” she said. She isn’t surprised, though, about the increase in RLUIPA filings from Mr. Trump’s Justice Department. “The political power of the religious entities in the Trump administration is extraordinary at the Department of Justice. They’ve essentially been driving policy,” she said.

At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal

The latest documentary from The Foundation for Global Sports Development and Sidewinder Films, At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal, will air on HBO Friday, May 3 at 8:00 PM PT.

Viewers will be able to stream the film on HBO GO and HBO NOW on 5:00 PM PT the same day, and it will be available On Demand Saturday, May 4.

Featuring exclusive interviews with the survivors at the center of the story, the film delves into the sports culture that allowed a predator like Larry Nassar to abuse hundreds of young women over a span of decades. This is a story that must be told, must be shared, and must be seen.

Statute of Limitations Reform Would Give Victims of Childhood Sexual Assault New Opportunity for Justice.

The accusations come at a time when states around the country are considering extending statutes of limitations for crimes like these, which have historically been very short. For organizations like the Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church, who have covered up sexual assaults against children for decades, the effort to extend statutes of limitations could give more victims fresh opportunities for justice. MARCI HAMILTON is a Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, and the CEO of CHILD USA, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing child abuse.

Insurance Carriers Hold a Key to Prevent Child Sex Abuse

25 APR 2019 | MARCI A. HAMILTON

There is a pandemic of child sex abuse across the globe. From religious institutions to universities to boarding schools and, of course, families, we now know that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused by age 18. That knowledge is spurring a legal reformation for the protection of children, and insurance carriers should be a part of this noble movement.

Many were shocked to learn that Catholic dioceses and orders have been carrying insurance coverage for the negligent prevention of child sex abuse.

Lawmaker: Murphy To Sign Bill Easing Limits on Sex Abuse Suits Soon

Lilo H. Stainton | April 26, 2019

New Jersey will soon institute a new law giving survivors of sex abuse far more latitude in how they can seek justice in court — a measure under development for nearly a decade that supporters say would be among the most expansive in the nation.

State Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex), who has led the fight to reform New Jersey’s statute of limitations on sex-abuse cases, said Gov. Phil Murphy intends to sign the bill within the next two weeks. Murphy has indicated his support for the plan, but his office declined to comment on the timing Thursday.

What If Child Abusers Are Insured against Payouts?

Marci Hamilton | April 26th, 2019

There is a pandemic of child sex abuse across the globe. From religious institutions to universities to boarding schools and, of course, families, we now know that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused by age 18. That knowledge is spurring a legal reformation for the protection of children, and insurance carriers should be a part of this noble movement.

Many were shocked to learn that Catholic dioceses and orders have been carrying insurance coverage for the negligent prevention of child sex abuse. But that became clear when the victims straggled and then ran into the public square in 2002 when the Boston Globe’s Spotlight series unveiled the wretched cover up.

U.S. Supreme Court blocks South Florida priest’s libel lawsuit against Catholic Church

In Gallagher’s petition, he argued the defamatory statements against him were made outside the church, “are not related to church doctrine, and implicate matters of public safety.”

The priest says the case is bigger than just him. In a February interview, he said his unusual lawsuit should be viewed as part of a larger “public conversation” about the sexual abuse of children inside the church.

Gallagher had the backing of CHILD USA, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that calls itself a “think tank for child protection.” Group leaders hailed his efforts and quest for justice.

“Instead of celebrating this heroic act of child protection, Gallagher’s diocese punished him, publishing numerous defamatory statements about him,” the organization wrote.

New Allegations Against NJY Camps Former Director

Hannah Dreyfus | April 15, 2019

Marci Hamilton, a national expert on child abuse prevention and CEO of Child USA, said it is “very common” for young victims of sexual assault to re-engage with the alleged offender.

“A minor is not old enough to withstand a perpetrator’s grooming tactics to find his or her way out of the loop,” she said. “Child victims can carry guilt for their whole lives for ‘going back,’ and perpetrators encourage that kind of thinking. It allows them to maintain control.”

Women Sexually Abused By Catholic Nuns Speak Up: She Told Me It Was ‘God’s Love’

Two survivors share stories of grooming, emotional manipulation and sexual abuse by nuns in the Catholic Church.

“Abuse by a female nun of a girl, it’s so far outside the expected parameters of what we read about,” Hamilton said. “It’s hard enough for victims to come to terms with what really happened to them, but to try to come to terms with something that doesn’t seem to be happening to anyone else is doubly hard.” -Marci Hamilton

Episode 9: ” What Does Justice Look Like for Survivors”

Will the Catholic Church’s sex abuse crisis ever end? That’s a question everyone has been asking since the latest wave of news in 2018.

In Deliver Us, host Maggi Van Dorn wants to know: How did this happen? And what, if anything, can we do to help? Hear from experts, advocates, and survivors to learn what the church can do to move forward. Because you can’t fix something until you know how it’s broken.

What Do the Church’s Victims Deserve?

By Paule Elie | April 8, 2019

The Catholic Church is turning to outside arbiters to reckon with its history of sexual abuse. But skeptics argue that its legacy of evasion continues.

Proposal would change state Constitution: Amendment would allow lawsuits on old church abuse claims.

John Finnerty | Apr 6, 2019

HARRISBURG – A Republican lawmaker has introduced legislation that would give voters the chance to change the state Constitution and allow victims of expired child sex abuse cases to sue their abusers and institutions that may have covered up the crimes even if the statute of limitations has expired.

She fled a ‘Jewish Taliban’ sect with her children. Then kidnappers tracked them down

National Post | April 3, 2019

Six weeks after fleeing Guatemala with their mother, 14-year-old Yante Teller and her brother Chaim Teller, 12, stepped away from the house where they were staying in Woodridge,a small Catskill Mountains hamlet about 130 kilometres northwest of New York City. It was just before 3 a.m. on Dec. 8, 2018. A car was waiting to hurry them away.

Two days later, the New York State Police issued an alert about the missing children, noting that the Tellers were “not believed to be in any imminent danger” and were “believed to have traveled to New York City.”

Vitale delivers justice for victims of sexual abuse | Editorial

Star-Ledger Editorial Board | March 28, 2019

Contrary to legal doctrine, justice delayed is not justice denied – at least not in perpetuity – as long as you have a righteous cause and one indomitable lawmaker.

This instructive lesson in governance comes from a bill that extends the statute of limitations in civil actions for children who were victims of sexual abuse, which is now headed for the governor’s desk after passing the Assembly by a unanimous vote Monday.

Stunning reversal: Judge vacates former youth minister’s sex convictions

Bobby Ross Jr | March 28, 2019

Highly publicized Pennsylvania grand jury report last year identified more than 300 predator Catholic priests who had sexually abused more than 1,000 children going back decades.

But because the crimes were hidden by the church hierarchy, “almost every instance of abuse we found is too old to be prosecuted,” the statewide investigating body reported.

‘It’s outrageous’: Amazon pulls ‘paedophilic’ children’s clothing after complaints

Vita Molyneux | March 27, 2019

Child USA, a non-profit dedicated to protecting children and preventing abuse, has slammed the company for selling the clothing.

“It is outrageous that baby clothing with this language appears anywhere on the web, let alone Amazon,” CEO Professor Marci Hamilton told the Sun Online.

She says the clothing has serious implications for children.

“It has a way of normalizing the activity [sexual abuse of children] which is extremely dangerous to children.

More Articles:

Amanda Tarlton | March 26 2019

Michael Moran | March 26, 2019

Jimmy Nsubuga | March 26, 2019

Debbie White | March 25, 2019

Turning point for child sex abuse laws

Katie Davis | March 26, 2019

Nine states currently have no civil statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse, and more than two dozen others have introduced legislation to reform or extend their statutes in 2019, according to child protection think tank CHILD USA.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act into law last month, allowing survivors to file civil lawsuits until the age of 55. Previously, New York’s limit was age 23.

Jackson To Hire Religious Law Advisor

Bob Vosseller | March 8, 2019

JACKSON – Council members voted to hire a special advisor to help the township with its legal challenges involving religious rights.

Lawmakers in New Jersey weigh bill easing sex abuse statute of limitations

Mike Catalini | Mar 8, 2019

TRENTON, New Jersey – New Jersey lawmakers on Thursday advanced legislation aimed at making it easier for childhood sexual abuse victims to seek damages in court after hours of emotional testimony.

WHYY-FM Radio Market: Philadelphia, PA (4)

Radio Programming | March 8, 2019

[6:07:02 AM] Because I remember him pushing me to the ground that’s why advocates are pushing to expand the statute of limitations so. Survivors can stew for abuse that occurred years or even decades earlier MARCI HAMILTON with CHILD USA says the state ‘s. Current two-year statute of limitations mean scores of victims have been unable to face their abusers in court a have been. Shut down by the court system by this arbitrary deadline it’s just a deadline the bill passed the state senate committee.

‘Abuse is abuse:’ N.J. bill would expand sex abuse statute of limitations

Joe Hernandez | March 8, 2019

New Jersey’s Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a bill Thursday evening that would dramatically expand the state’s statute of limitations for sexual assault, allowing survivors to file civil lawsuits against their abusers for conduct that took place years or even decades earlier.

R. Kelly, Michael Jackson and the Lingering Questions About Child Sex Abuse Cases

Shaila Dewan | March 8, 2019

The explosive documentaries “Leaving Neverland” and “Surviving R. Kelly” have reignited a national conversation about child sex abuse.

NJ victims of sex abuse may soon get more time to file civil claims

Nicholas Pugliese, Trenton Bureau | March 7, 2019

Sexual assault victims and advocates delivered searing testimony Thursday in support of a bill that would give victims more time to file lawsuits against their alleged abusers and the places they worked.

Lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee listened for more than four hours before overwhelmingly approving a measure that would expand New Jersey’s current two-year statute of limitations for bringing civil actions for sexual abuse, a restriction that victims have argued for over a decade has prevented them from achieving justice.

‘My kind of love was not love at all’

April Baumgarten | February 28, 2019

EDGELEY — Lovice Brandenburg said she couldn’t fully articulate how she felt being sexually abused by relatives for more than a decade as a child, so she wrote it all down in a journal.

New York Molestation Survivors Have More Time to Hold Abusers Accountable

KJ McElrath | February 26, 2019

Thanks to new state legislation, adult survivors of childhood sexual molestation have additional time to hold their abusers accountable.

Rochester’s Democrat & Chronicle reports that New York state lawmakers passed a law that expands protections and rights for adults who suffered sexual abuse as children. Other major news outlets report that similar bills are currently before the legislatures in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

How a New Law in New York Helps Survivors of Catholic Priests Sex Abuse

Laura Pennington | February 25, 2019

Sexual abuse victims who say the Catholic Church has avoided taking full responsibility for the behavior of priests have achieved a big step forward with the passage of a law in New York that extends the statute of limitations.

Embattled priest prays U.S. Supreme Court allows libel claim against Catholic Church

Marc Freeman | February 24, 2019

A priest from South Florida says he has faith the U.S. Supreme Court will allow him to do the unthinkable for a member of the clergy — sue the Catholic Church.

Child Victims Act has resonance for the disabled

Sarah K. Lanzo | February 22, 2019

Many New York citizens are celebrating Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Feb. 14 signing of New York’s Child Victims Act, some saying, “It’s about time!” after a more-than-decade-long political battle between survivors of childhood sexual abuse and some of the institutions that have been accused of trying to cover it up.

Eleventh state enacts law to protect victims of child sex abuse

Michele W. Berger | February 21, 2019

Victims of childhood sex abuse often aren’t ready to come forward about their experience until their late 40s or early 50s. By that time, the statute of limitations has often run out, making it too late to take any legal action against a perpetrator or institution.

With passage of the Child Victims Act at the end of January, New York state is giving abuse survivors significantly longer to sue for damages and more time to bring criminal charges. Plus, starting in August of 2019, a one-year window will open during which there will be no statute of limitations for such cases.

Montana could still have statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases with bill changes

Holly Michels | February 20, 2019

A proposal to eliminate the statute of limitations to file civil claims for sex crimes against children may be scaled back.

Several bills have been brought this legislative session in response to a case from Miles City in which an athletic trainer has been accused of molesting boys from the 1970s to 1998.

NJ Bill to Ease Abuse Statute Of Limitations Nears Vote

Hamodia | February 18, 2019

TRENTON (AP) -Victims of childhood abuse in New Jersey could soon join those in nearby New York state who have benefited from legislation that loosens restrictions on when they can seek damages in court.

State Sen. Joseph Vitale and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, both Democrats, announced that a bill extending the statute of limitations on civil claims is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate judiciary committee early next month. The legislation would allow victims to sue up until they turn 55 or within seven years of their first realization that the abuse caused them harm. The current limit is two years. Adult victims also would have seven years from the discovery of the abuse.

‘Not about helping victims’: Advocates question dioceses’ compensation funds

John Finnerty | February 17, 2019

HARRISBURG – The launch of clerical abuse compensation funds in the Erie and Harrisburg Catholic dioceses this week means five of the state’s eight Catholic dioceses now have victims fund programs in operation.

300 priests statewide had molested more than 1,000 victims over decades.

FULL STORY: Diocese of Erie launches fund for sexual abuse victims

Keith Gushard | February 16, 2019

ERIE — The Diocese of Erie formally has opened the application process to pay benefits to the survivors of sexual abuse committed by clergy or laypersons of the diocese.

The full protocol of the Independent Survivors’ Reparation Program is now available on the website of the fund administrators at ErieDioceseISRP.com. The diocesan website, ErieRCD.org, also provides a link to the independent site.

Child Sex Abuse Statutes of Limitations, and the Catholic Bishops’ Spiritual Retreat

Marci A. Hamilton 

Hundreds of American bishops are gathering for a week-long spiritual retreat at a seminary in Illinois in response to their self-inflicted wounds of grotesque child sex abuse compounded by their intentional cover-up. They don’t plan to address policy, but rather to pray. I have some advice for them: cut the prayers and instead start a political retreat on the victims’ access to justice

Top aide of Jeffrey Epstein prosecutor Acosta: We acted with integrity

Julie K. Brown | February 16,2019

MIAMI — A former top prosecutor involved in the Jeffrey Epstein sex case is defending his old boss, Alexander Acosta, whose decision to craft a secret plea deal with the wealthy New York hedge fund manager has come under federal scrutiny.

New York law gives child sex abuse victims more time to sue

Agence France-Presse | February 15, 2019

New York (AFP) – The governor of New York state on Thursday signed a law extending the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sex abuse, a move that could trigger a torrent of new complaints.

With Ink Not Yet Dry on the New York Child Victims Act, There Is Already Reason to Be Concerned About the Victims in this Process

Marci A. Hamilton | February 15, 2019

Sadly, it took next to no time in New York after the Governor signed the bill for lawyers to start moving justice away from the victims and to their own benefit—with the filing of a class action lawsuit. The very same day, one complaint was prematurely and possibly improperly filed against Rockefeller University, where serial pedophile pediatric endocrinologist Reginald Archibald abused hundreds. It is troubling to consider that it could be replicated for other institutions or all survivors, period.

With so much of its leadership compromised, is the Catholic Church irredeemable?

Michael Rezendes | February 14,2019

Each week, it seems, the scandal detonates yet again with fresh news of priests who have had their way with children, and the bishops who have allowed them to continue working as trusted clergymen. Nearly two decades after the scandal erupted in Boston and began its relentless march around the world, it’s become a crisis without end.

Bill to ease sex abuse statute of limitations nears vote

The Associated Press | February 14, 2019

TRENTON, N.J. -Victims of childhood sexual abuse in New Jersey could soon join those in other states who have benefited from legislation that loosens restrictions on when they can seek damages in court.

State Sen. Joseph Vitale and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, both Democrats, announced Thursday that a bill extending the statute of limitations on civil claims is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate judiciary committee early next month.

‘This is society’s way of saying we are sorry,’ New York Governor tells survivors of sex abus e before signing Child Victims Act into law

Elizabeth Joseph | February 14, 2019

(CNN) With survivors of sexual abuse in attendance, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, flanked by lawmakers and victims’ advocates, signed into law the Child Victims Act, ending a 13-year fight and decades of personal pain for many.

“We are sorry for what happened to you. We are sorry that it took us so long to acknowledge what happened to you. We are sorry that justice took so long. We are sorry to the other victims who, in the interim, were also violated because society was slow in acting.”

Child Victims Act signed into law

Rachel Silberstein | February 14, 2019

Cuomo signs bill in newsroom of New York Daily News, which championed the bill.

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed New York’s Child Victims Act into law on Thursday, extending the statute of limitation for victims of childhood sexual abuse who pursue civil and criminal charges against their perpetrators.

Nonprofit Organization Forms Statute Of Limitations Research Institute For Child Sex Abuse

CBS Philly | February 13, 2019

Child USA will also release a publication to coincide with the institute.

Parents of clergy abuse victim donate portion of settlement to CHILD USA

Steve Tawa | February 13, 2019

The parents of a man who won what may be the largest payout to date from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in a clergy abuse case are donating a chunk of it to CHILD USA, to track the Statute of Limitations reform movement. KYW Newsradio’s Steve Tawa reports.

Philly organization pushing for clergy abuse reform laws says lawsuits turn tragedy into justice

Steve Tawa | February 13, 2019

Hamilton says public pressure is forcing state legislatures to allow child abuse victims to go after the Roman Catholic Church.

“Over half of the states this year have already introduced legislation to expand or eliminate the criminal and civil statutes of limitations. That’s a record,” she said.

Harrisburg diocese launches compensation fund for clerical abuse victims

John Finnerty | February 13, 2019

HARRISBURG — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg on Tuesday launched a 90-day claims period to allow victims of clerical abuse to seek compensation from the church.

The Harrisburg Survivor Compensation Program will be administered by Paul Finn of Commonwealth Mediation & Conciliation, Inc.

public pressure is forcing state legislatures to allow child abuse victims to go after the Roman Catholic Church.
“Over half of the states this year have already introduced legislation to expand or eliminate the criminal and civil statutes of limitations. That’s a record,” she said.

Fund for clergy sex abuse victims: Will it bring healing or protect the Catholic church?

Ivey DeJesus | February 13, 2019

Catholic bishops have long held that victims compensation programs offer a chance for victims to heal.

On Tuesday, officials from the diocese rolled out a program that will pay out millions of dollars in financial compensation to adults who were sexually abused as children by priests and church officials. The diocese has not announced the size of the fund or estimates of how much will be awarded to settle individual claims.

Bill would increase statute of limitations for victims of child sex abuse

Erica Irish | February 13, 2019

Thompson joined Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, and Aaron Freeman, R-Indianapolis, and other sexual abuse victims at a news conference Tuesday. Together, the group advocated for a bill that would offer more time to victims pursuing criminal or civil charges against an abuser.

Merritt authored Senate Bill 219 to achieve this. In particular, SB 219 would extend the statute of limitations by three years for civil suits brought against a person or entity accused of child neglect that led to sexual abuse or an intentional sexual act against a minor.

The Daily 202: Four in five Americans want Mueller’s report made public in its entirety. That may not happen.

James Hohmann | February 12, 2019

Americans across the partisan divide believe strongly and overwhelmingly that special counsel Bob Mueller’s final report on his investigation should be made public in its entirety, and a 56 percent majority trusts Mueller’s version of the facts more than President Trump’s, according to a new Washington Post-Schar School poll.

Over 700 Victims Allegedly Abused by Southern Baptist Leaders, Volunteers: Report

Bowen Xiao | February 12, 2019

Results of a six-month investigation conducted by The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News and published on Feb. 10, found the majority of the 380 clergy accused of sexual misconduct have been convicted or taken plea deals. But it also revealed a number of them had continued to work in the ministry with no punishment.

Roman Catholic dioceses in N.J. announce victim-compensation funds

Liz Navratil and Angela Couloumbis | February 11, 2019

The five Roman Catholic dioceses in New Jersey, some reeling from clergy abuse scandals, announced plans on Monday to establish a unified victim-compensation fund to provide money to people abused as children by clergy members.

Southern Baptists’ sexual abuse scandal prompts calls for criminal investigations, comparisons to Catholics

Julie Zauzmer | February 11, 2019

A report published in two Texas newspapers this past weekend detailing 20 years of sexual abuse allegations within the nation’s largest Protestant denomination has sparked calls for authorities to investigate whether leaders covered up abuse and allowed the accused to continue working in churches.

Abused in Scouting Team of Legal Titans Takes on Boy Scouts of America in Sexual Abuse Claims

AVA Law Group | February 11, 2019

Attorneys from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California have teamed up to form Abused in Scouting, a legal powerhouse featuring Stewart Eisenberg, Kenneth Rothweiler, and Joshua Schwartz of Eisenberg Rothweiler, the Philadelphia-based litigation giant, to prosecute alleged sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts of America.

Abused in Scouting Team of Legal Titans Takes on Boy Scouts of America in Sexual Abuse Claims

AVA Law Group | February 11, 2019

Attorneys from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California have teamed up to form Abused in Scouting, a legal powerhouse featuring Stewart Eisenberg, Kenneth Rothweiler, and Joshua Schwartz of Eisenberg Rothweiler, the Philadelphia-based litigation giant, to prosecute alleged sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts of America.

Following sexual abuse allegation, priest who worked near Penn put on leave by Archdiocese

Chris Doyle | February 11, 2019

Rev. Steven Marinucci, a Catholic priest who worked near Penn’s campus for 10 years, has been placed on administrative leave following an allegation that he sexually abused a minor in the late 1970s.

What you need to know about New York’s Child Victims Act

Jay Tokasz | February 8, 2019

What other states have opened look-back windows allowing childhood victims abuse to sue?

Nine states have enacted some form of window legislation, according to Child USA, a Philadelphia-based organization that advocates for statute of limitation reforms and other legal changes aimed at protecting children. Those states are: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota and Utah.

Bishop reiterates sexual abuse by priests was criminal conduct

Kaitlin Bain | February 5, 2019

Bishop Curtis Guillory has reaffirmed the Diocese of Beaumont’s position regarding sexual abuses by members of the clergy after a statement from a pastor this weekend that questioned the criminal nature of the acts.

‘Real Fears’ Over Child Victims Act, Say Charedim

Hannah Dreyfus | February 6, 2019

In the wake of the passage last week in Albany of the Child Victims Act, Orthodox leaders are cautioning that “fears” of a barrage of potentially crippling lawsuits from alleged victims of child sexual abuse against yeshivas and camps “are real.

Corey Feldman talks R. Kelly, abuse in Hollywood and how #MeToo is just the beginning

Yahoo Finance | February 4, 2019

Feldman has also signed on as an ambassador for Child USA, an organization dedicated to protecting children from abuse and neglect. As part of his work, he became a vocal advocate for the Child Victims Act, which New York state passed in late January. The bill allows survivors of sexual abuse to seek prosecution of their abusers in civil cases up until the age of 55, up from the previous limit of 23. “What we’ve just done in New York is a tremendous, tremendous victory. This is one of the most exciting weeks of my life,” Feldman says.

Child Victims Act passes, extending opportunities for survivors to file charges

Teri West | January 29, 2019

New York’s Child Victims Act passed Monday, more than a decade after survivors of childhood sexual abuse and advocates began pushing for the legislation.

The law will allow survivors to file criminal charges until age 28 and civil charges until age 55. The act also creates a one-year window for survivors to reintroduce claims that exceeded the statute of limitations.

After long battle, NY passes Child Victims Act

Brendan J. Lyons | January 29, 2019

ALBANY — The state Legislature, buoyed by the recent Democratic takeover of the Senate chamber, on Monday voted overwhelmingly to pass the Child Victims Act, ending a more than decade-long political battle between survivors of childhood sexual abuse and some of the institutions that have been accused of trying to cover it up.

State grapples with how to best help victims

John Finnerty | January 29,2019

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania voters could be asked in November whether the state Constitution should be amended to give victim’s rights as much protection as those afforded to criminals.

Pennsylvania is one of just nine states that don’t have rights for crime victims written into the state Constitution, said Jennifer Riley, state director for Marsy’s Law, a group pushing to get a constitutional amendment for victims in all 50 states.

Why this time was different: The church’s objections to the Child Victims Act finally ran out

Marci Hamilton | January 29, 2019

It took more than 15 years, but when the Child Victims Act finally made it to the floor of the Senate, it passed unanimously. This is the harbinger of good things to come in other states.

For the very first time, the most powerful bishop in a state — Cardinal Timothy Dolan — publicly withdrew his opposition to the bill. That opened the door for Republicans to vote for the Child Victims Act, but it also changed the discourse about window legislation across the United States and even the world.

New York lawmakers to ease statute of limitations for molestation

David Klepper | January 28, 2019

The measure, known as the Child Victims Act, would also create a one-year litigation window for victims to file lawsuits now barred by the statute of limitations. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has said he will sign the measure into law.

N.Y. law change would deliver abuse survivors day in court, hope to Pennsylvanians

Deb Erdley | January 28, 2019

In Pennsylvania, “window of opportunity” legislation has stalled in the state Senate twice in the last three years. Child advocates hope New York’s move will revive enthusiasm for change here. Victim advocates and abuse survivors worked relentlessly for change in Harrisburg last year after a statewide grand jury reported rampant allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy in Roman Catholic dioceses across the state over seven decades.

N.Y. Senate votes to give victims of child sex abuse more years to sue, ending years-long battle

Corky Siemaszko | January 28, 2019

The long and bitter battle for legislation that would allow New York sex abuse victims to sue the Roman Catholic Church and other organizations for monetary damages ended with victory Monday when the state Senate passed the Child Victims Act.

New York passes Child Victims Act, allowing child sex abuse survivors to sue their abusers

Augusta Anthony | January 28, 2019

New York (CNN)The New York State Legislature passed a bill on Monday that will increase the statute of limitations for cases of child sexual abuse.

The Child Victims Act will allow child victims to seek prosecution against their abuser until the age of 55 in civil cases, a significant increase from the previous limit of age 23. For criminal cases, victims can seek prosecution until they turn 28. The bill also includes a one-year window during which victims of any age or time limit can come forward to prosecute.

Victims of Child Sexual Abuse Are Poised to Win Expanded Protections in N.Y.

ALBANY — For more than a decade, Democratic lawmakers in New York have tried to allow victims of decades-old childhood sexual abuse to seek justice — only to meet fierce opposition from powerful interests including insurance companies, private schools and religious leaders from the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish communities.

EXCLUSIVE: Revised, tougher Child Victims Act set to be introduced in NYS Legislature

Kenneth Lovett | January 22, 2019

ALBANY – State lawmakers will soon introduce a revised, tougher bill designed to make it easier for victims of child victims abuse to seek justice as adults, the Daily News has learned.

The latest draft obtained by the Daily News would raise the top age that a child sex abuse survivor can bring a civil lawsuit to 55, up from the current 23.

Is your child’s sports coach a sexual predator? New website can help you check

Charlie Specht | January 21, 2019

Three recent cases of accused WNY coaches

It’s the worst nightmare of every Soccer Mom and Sports Dad: A sexual predator masquerading as a youth sports coach for their child.

But the good news for parents is there are new online tools you can use to help keep your children safe.

Catholic League: Oxford Union ‘Makes a Mockery’ of What a Debate Should Be

Emily Ward | January 17, 2019

Catholic League President Bill Donohue said the Oxford Union Society at Oxford University is making a “mockery” of what a debate should be given its apparent stacking of the deck against the Catholic Church in a debate scheduled for Feb.28.

The forthcoming debate will address the motion, “The House Believes The Catholic Church Can Never Pay For Its Sins. There will be five speakers, three defending the proposition and two opposing it. However, the selected debaters apparently are all anti-Catholic to one degree or another, said Donohue, which makes the contest not credible.

Oxford Union Sponsors Staged Debate

Bill Donohue | January 16, 2019

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the latest game played by the Oxford Union:

“This House Believes That England Can Never Pay For Its Sins Against Irish Catholics.” Imagine a debate on this subject with representatives of the Irish Republican Army on one side and Sinn Fein (the political arm of the IRA) on the other. This is what the Oxford Union is doing by stacking the deck against the Catholic Church on the motion, “The House Believes The Catholic Church Can Never Pay For Its Sins.”

More Lawsuits Seek to Hold the Holy See Accountable

Mindy Aquon | January 16, 2019

In hopes of holding the highest levels of the Catholic Church in Rome responsible for the sexual abuse of children on Guam, the Vatican has been named in two additional lawsuits filed in the Superior and District Courts of Guam.

Washington woman sexually abused 3 times, raised to deny suffering in Christian Science

Karina Mazhukhina | January 16th 2019

Neilson says that because she survived a childhood as a Christian Scientist, a religion that encourages prayer instead of medical treatment as the primary method of healing.

She was sexually abused three times – the last time when she was 15. A 21-year-old family friend cut her so badly during the attack she needed a blood transfusion. Her mother was out of town on her honeymoon and her grandmother was in charge of her at the time. Neilson says her grandmother strongly opposed the transfusion, but doctors talked her into giving her permission.

Film Screening at State Capitol Highlights Faith-Healing Child Deaths

Eric Tegethoff | January 14, 2019

BOISE, Idaho – A documentary screening at the Idaho State Capitol on Wednesday aims to shed light on the sometimes deadly consequences of the state’s faith-healing exemptions to providing medical care for children.

“Dark Clouds Over Canyon County” examines the history of faith healing in Idaho, which can involve treating illnesses and injuries with prayer.

Why It Could Be Hard to Mute R. Kelly

Elizabeth A. Harris and Ben Sisario | January 13, 2019

He has been accused of having sex with minors. At 27, he married a 15-year-old girl. Some women say he runs an emotionally abusive sex cult.

But in more than two decades of persistent allegations, the R&B star at the center of them, R. Kelly, has never been convicted of a crime, and in no meaningful way has his career suffered.

Cuomo to put Child Victims Act in budget proposal

Associated Press | January 12, 2019

The proposal, known as the Child Victims Act, would give victims more time to seek criminal charges or file lawsuits against their abusers. And it would open a one-year window for victims to file lawsuits now barred by the statute of limitations.

The act was blocked for years by Senate Republicans, but with Democrats now in charge it’s expected to pass easily. The Catholic Church warns that the one-year litigation window could have crippling financial effects.

Fear and Fact-Checking: What You Face When Making a Film About Sexual Abuse

Leila Wills | January 11, 2019

Disclosing abuse—and trying to document it—can be difficult and dangerous.

As a filmmaker whose current work focuses on sexual abuse, I’ve often been asked why I tell stories about what some people consider to be unspeakable.

Telling these kinds of stories is difficult—with the questions of why you are doing it and whether it’s a money grab, the threat of violence, and the challenges inherent to making a film from the raw material of allegations.

We Catholics Don’t Particularly Need a Church Mary

W Maxwell | January 8, 2019

There is an eye-popping report about child abuse committed by the Christian Brothers in Australia from 1920s to 1960s. It is dated 2014, signed by Gail Furness, QC, and forms part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse.

I will mention some of the bad stuff below, but the point of this article is to remind readers that all the investigating may have been misplaced. Sure, the Church hierarchy acted terribly in regard to children. Whenever a priest got caught pedophiling, he was assigned to a different parish where it was guaranteed he would sin again.

Abuse Investigation Delayed and Polluted by Internal Reporting

Joel Avrunin | January 6, 2019

Due to increased awareness about abuse, we now have Jewish community serving organizations that work hard to prevent abuse and “interven[e] effectively and with cultural sensitivity when abuse occurs.” Unfortunately, these community organizations can unintentionally make the problem worse in many ways when they don’t clearly teach that mandated reporters must call the police themselves. “Mandated reporter” means “mandated reporter to the police”, not “mandated reporter to the organization’s director”. This lack of clarity leads to some schools, synagogues, and summer camps directing employees to internally report abuse, delaying the reporting process. During this delay, the administration often conducts their own in-house investigation and reports to the police after they are done.

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