Survivors of child sex abuse face a complicated path forward, one littered with physical and mental obstacles all stemming from their traumatic experience.
Michigan’s recent investigation into clergy abuse has resulted in its first conviction.
Most people would feel a moral obligation to go to law enforcement if they believed a child was being sexually abused. It is, quite simply, the right thing to do. For members of some professions – including clergy – the rules are sometimes different.
Over the past 15 years there have been well over 4,000 allegations of clergy sexual abuse by minors, according to statistics from a Georgetown University-affiliated research group. These specific allegations date back to the 1970s. It’s only in the past decade that important institutions began to take these claims seriously.
Doesn't it seem reasonable that individuals given the titles of Parochial Vicar, Chaplain, Pastor and Sacramental Minister would collectively comprise a group of trustworthy individuals?
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel charged five priests with first-degree criminal sexual conduct back in May. One of these priests has since had another charge added to his list of crimes. Former Lansing Diocese priest Vincent DeLorenzo received another charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct stemming from the assault of a recently identified survivor.
It's like a drum beat that never grows silent. Its constant reverberation serves as a sad reminder of cumulative horrific wrongs committed, yet also as a hopeful harbinger that truth continues to emerge unchecked.
Six criminal counts were not enough.
The number of states lifting the statute of limitations concerning sexual abuse children has risen. This year alone, five states plus the District of Columbia have lifted their statute of limitations regarding such abuse.
Two common and intertwined elements central to many instances of sexual abuse are a young survivor's trust and the coupled manipulations of an older authority figure.