Sexual assault against the intellectually disabled remains an often-ignored problem. Unfortunately, the issues facing abuse victims with cognitive impairments can be significant. Much like with other vulnerable populations such as young children and the elderly, sexual predators rely on special needs victims being unable to communicate clearly. Even if they can communicate, the victim's plight is often ignored as unreliable. For these reasons, it is very difficult for prosecutors to get convictions against perpetrators for their crimes.
For all of the strides of the #MeToo movement -- and the bravery sexual abuse and harassment victims continue to demonstrate by speaking out -- it is still difficult to talk with kids about sexual abuse. It can seem inappropriate or unnecessary. The topic is difficult to bring up. No parent wants to admit the possibility that their kids may be subjected to such horrors.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.