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.
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.
The Pennsylvania attorney general's office will begin a criminal investigation of the Lackawanna County Prison. Several former prisoners have alleged instances of sexual abuse and harassment by staff at the prison, both while they were incarcerated and during work release and probation. They filed a civil lawsuit in 2015 naming 50 people as responsible for the abuse and a subsequent cover-up.
Usually, the District Attorney's office would be responsible for the criminal investigation. However, Lackawanna County requires the DA to be on the board of the Lackawanna County Prison. In order to avoid a conflict of interest, therefore, the investigation will be headed to the Pennsylvania's Attorney General's office.
Children who undergo sexual abuse may struggle to heal after being victimized. The path to recovery is different for every victim, but examples of victims who have overcome this type of attack can help.
The examples of those who overcome this abuse can help for a number of reasons. First, they show that the victim is not alone. Others have gone through similar atrocities and not only survived, but were able to do amazing things with their lives.
One such story was recently shared in an article by The Huffington Post. The article shares the story of a professional cyclist who was the victim of sexual abuse when she was a teenager. The young woman explains how her road to recovery was difficult, how she has struggled with eating disorders and depression. She also explains how she is happy to share her story "in order to help others recover from similar ordeals."
The Sandusky scandal is far from over. Feds recently concluded an investigation that dug into whether or not Penn State followed laws designed to help keep our youth safe while at educational institutions.
Ultimately, the feds have concluded that Penn State did not meet these obligations. As such, the iconic institution is facing fines of over $2 million.
Acts of sexual abuse against children are not uncommon. According to the United States Department of Justice's National Sex Offender Public Website, approximately 1.8 million children throughout the country have suffered through sexual abuse. 62,939 cases were reported in 2012 alone.
As frightening as these statistics may be, there are steps we can take to help reduce the risk that our children will become victims of sexual abuse. Three proactive steps parents can take to keep our kids safe include:
A far-reaching investigation of a the Pennsylvania Archdiocese is gaining momentum in Pennsylvania. The state attorney general's office is reviewing nearly 70 years of records concerning sexually-abusive priests affiliated with Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses. The attorney general, collaborating with a Pittsburgh-based grand jury, has issued subpoenas to obtain documents dating to 1947. Under scrutiny are the dioceses of Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Scranton.
Yesterday evening, it was reported that a Bishop McDevitt teacher, Randi Lynn Zurenko, was arrested 153 counts of sexual abuse related to ongoing sexual relationships she had with two students. Zurenko has reportedly admitted to detectives that she provided the victims with alcohol and that she had inappropriate relationships with them while they were students, which included sexual activity.
Few things are more destructive to a person's life than being sexually abused as a child. Predators steal the innocence from children who looked up to and trusted adults and replaces that inner light with dark hole in their hearts.
One institution at the center of this darkness has been the Catholic Church. National outrage focused law enforcement's eyes squarely on members of the clergy who preyed on our children. They were wolves cloaked in holy robes, and 63 priests were the subject of a 2005 Philadelphia grand jury report in which four priests were incarcerated. Others suspected of abuse the church recommended for laicization (taking away the use of church power and authority), but only three actually left the clergy. Only eight of the 63 were subject to the church's Prayer and Penance Program as a way to atone for their sins. Many have since taken up residence in cities across the country.
The vast majority of high schools in the United States have football programs. While football programs allow students to benefit physically, emotionally, and socially, many of these football programs are plagued by a very troubling trend. For the past few years, the number of hazing incidents involving sodomy has increased significantly. Here is some information about the issue of sexual abuse and hazing in football programs across the country.