Crime Victim Law Blog

Catholic clergy sexual abuse: A serious worldwide problem

Recent reports that a high-ranking Vatican official has been accused of sexual abuse confirm that child molestation by Catholic clergy is a global problem with far-reaching implications. For decades, accusations have been lodged against priests and Catholic leaders who either abused kids, allowed the abuse to occur or covered up sex crimes. Many of them have led to significant financial settlements, terrible P.R. for the Church and, increasingly, jail time for the abusers.

According to Time magazine, Cardinal George Pell of Australia was charged with crimes related to sexual abuse. The Church's Vatican-based treasurer and adviser to Pope Francis is the former Archbishop of Melbourne and Archbishop of Sydney. He is reportedly the highest ranking Catholic leader to be accused of sexual abuse.

Child sexual abuse is not limited by gender

Up to one in six boys suffer sexual abuse before age 18

The statistics on child sexual abuse are incredibly saddening. While we know it is a tragically common and underreported crime, there are still myths and stereotypes about sexual abuse and who the victims of these heinous acts are.

Daycare is defendant in a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse

It is almost inconceivable that those charged with caring for the safety of young children would so horribly abuse this trust by sexually abusing a child.

Yet that is just what has been alleged in two separate lawsuits against the same daycare provider in Orlando, Florida.

Gymnastics doctor accused of molestation guilty of child porn

Almost a year ago, we wrote about the Indianapolis Star's exposé on USA Gymnastics. The large children's gymnastics organization mishandled allegations by gymnasts who were victims of sexual assault. You can read more about that story in our 2016 post.

The good news is that prosecutors were also paying attention to the story.

Three East Coast prep schools admit sexual misconduct by staff

We want what's best for our kids. As parents, we try to give our kids a good education, have them engage in extracurricular activities and may encourage them in a spiritual upbringing.

That is why child sexual abuse is so horrifying. Instead of a positive, nurturing environment, children must spend years coping with the wrongs inflicted upon them.

Sexual abuse in nursing homes

Approximately 10 percent of the elderly population in America has experienced abuse in some form. When we think about preventing elder abuse, most consider ways to combat physical abuse, emotional abuse and financial exploitation. Rarely discussed is sexual abuse, which is nonetheless an extensive problem plaguing nursing home facilities nationwide.

The weakest are most vulnerable

Sexual assault awareness and prevention required year-round

Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the National Child Abuse Prevention Month are both in April. Hopefully, by now you have been able to read about or participate in activities designed to help assault and abuse victims overcome obstacles and help make the U.S. a safer place for all. Throughout the U.S., large demonstrations occurred that gathered women, men and children together to combat sexual assault and abuse.

Awareness is increasing, but the fight is nowhere near over

Hotel may be legally responsible for allowing sex crimes to occur

In March 2017, a victim of sexual trafficking sued the hotel where the illegal activities took place under a 2014 Pennsylvania statute. While there have been suits filed against individuals under this law, the civil suit against the hotel is the first of its kind and it could open the door for victims of sex crimes to receive damages from businesses such as hotels or strip clubs that ignore these problems in their establishments. 

Pennsylvania Senate extends child sexual abuse victim rights

It can take years for victims of childhood sexual abuse to be able to speak out about their experience. Child sexual abuse survivors often need to spend time healing and in therapy. However, child abuse survivors are currently barred from bringing a civil lawsuit against their abuser 12 years after turning 18.

Child victim advocates have long been promoting a change to this law. A bill introduced on January 30, 2017, aimed to do just that. The bill passed unanimously just three days later, in early February.

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