No Church should ever cover up sexual abuse within its congregation. Yet far too many pastors, and priests, have enabled a predator to damage innocent victims over and over and then continue moving on to the next prey. Sexual assault should not be swept under the carpet in exchange for a check in the offering plate.
No Church Should Hide Sexual Abuse Under the First Amendment – this is part 2 includes the link to the news that the New York State Assembly and Senate both passed the Child Victims Act (Senate bill 2440/Assembly bill 2683).*
Included will be linked to current cases of allegations of sexual abuse in church/ religious situations. I will also include helpful resources that get you started on sorting these complex issues that no good church-going people talk about – but should.
Christian children are taught the Biblical command to ‘obey those who have authority over you.” How destructively confusing is that when an adult takes advantage of a child who is blind faith trusting that adult?
I will post some relevant articles with links below for you to explore at your leisure on the long-lasting effects of sexual trauma.
Long-term health outcomes of childhood sexual abuse”
The ripple effect of early childhood trauma … psychological effects. Biology of the brain and immune function … The child is forever changed. … influence of childhood sexual abuse on the long-term health and the nursing care of adult survivors.
Ability for healing … normal cell maintenance is reduced. … altered immune cell levels … increased inflammation, susceptibility to infection, allergic response, and cell mutation.
Trauma and early negative experiences affect the development … structure of the brain.
Those who experienced childhood sexual abuse are one and a half times more likely to report serious health problems.
… history of childhood sexual abuse have increased reports of fear, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, aggression, anger, hostility, poor self-esteem, and suicide attempts. Higher rates of depression…
Potential Long-Term Effects
CHILD ABUSE > SEXUAL ABUSE OF BOYS
by Jim Hopper
Some of the long-term effects of sexual abuse are related to the development of gender identity.Conclusions: Sexual abuse of boys appears to be common, underreported, underrecognized, and undertreated.
Understanding sexual assault
Consequences | Sexual Assault | INSPQ
…childhood sexual abuse have lasting effects throughout adulthood …affecting marital and parental …
…sexual assault is a public health problem that concerns everyone.
… potential consequences that can last a lifetime/ span generations,
- effects on health, education, employment, crime, the economic well-being of individuals, families, communities…
- … third of sexually abused children do not
- display symptoms deemed problematic
Victims of church-related sexual abuse have been shamed and made to feel the sexual abuse was their fault alone. But, It was never a child’s fault.
They were supposed to be safe, and protected at church by church leaders.
Little did victims of child predators know that they were not the only ones who had similar crimes committed against them. Why would a 7 or 8-year-old be expected to know?
- Yes, child molestation is a crime.
- Rape is a crime.
- Children can not consent to this act of power and control against them.
- A child is not cognitively developed to understand what has happened to them by a person of trust.
- Educating yourself on facts is NOT a sin against God.
Sexual assault is an act in which a person intentionally sexually touches another person without that person’s consent, or coerces or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will. Wikipedia
Who are the perpetrators?
The majority of perpetrators are someone known to the victim.
- eight out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim…
- Sexual assault can take many different forms, but one thing remains the same: it’s never the victim’s fault.Sexual exploitation is an act or acts committed through non-consensual abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantage, or any other non-legitimate purpose.
Child sexual abuse is a serious, problem with clinical, social, moral, and legal implications.
- 100 000 and 500 000 children in the United States are thought to be sexually molested annually.
- Physicians may detect sexual exploitation of youngsters and are mandated to report such cases.
- Failure to diagnose child molestation and pedophilia and to treat their cause can have serious, long-lasting consequences for innocent victims …
- A single child molester may commit hundreds of sexual acts on hundreds of children.
The pressure to “forgive and forget” can be a powerful obstacle to protecting children effectively from harm.
…unfortunately some incorrectly believe that a (seemingly) sincere apology … is enough for everyone to “move on.”
OPINION I Was Assaulted. He Was Applauded.
… was 17 when her youth pastor… sexually assaulted her.
…almost two decades later, Ms. Woodson, inspired by the #MeToo movement, emailed ___ asking whether he remembered what has haunted her for decades. When he didn’t reply, she told her story to a blog for victims of church abuse.
Days later ___ addressed his congregation … where he is a pastor…streamed the service online
At the service ___ apologized to the mega-congregation for … a “sexual incident” when he was a 22-year-old youth pastor at his former church …
He received a standing ovation from the congregation…
Jehovah’s Witnesses leaders to be sued for sexual abuse under new Child Victims Act
“… was with him 80 hours a month … had open access to me… My parents loved him. I was ashamed. … I didn’t know how to tell them.”
…he was abused when he 14 years old by a high-level member who started by fondling him and showing him pornography.
… alleged abuse escalated to instances of oral and anal sex…
“ are more concerned about protecting their brand than … welfare and safety of children,” said Irwin Zalkin, a lawyer for the plaintiffs …believes that it lives in a parallel universe where it is immune from …` the law the citizens of this country are required to obey.”
New York’s landmark Child Victims Act goes into effect Wednesday. The new law adjusts statute-of-limitations timelines so that victims of long-ago sexual abuse can sue for damages.
|Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation
Child Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse does not need to include physical contact between a perpetrator and a child. Some forms of child sexual abuse include:
- Exhibitionism, or exposing oneself to a minor
- Masturbation in the presence of a minor or forcing the minor to masturbate
- Obscene phone calls, text messages, or digital interaction
- Producing, owning, or sharing pornographic images or movies of children
- Sex of any kind with a minor, including vaginal, oral, or anal
- Sex trafficking
- Any other sexual conduct that is harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare
*Justice Delayed…No Longer
—New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
…survivors of childhood sexual assault can now bring civil lawsuits against accusers and institutions until the age of 55; the age limit was previously 23.
…the law now allows victims of past offenses who did not file civil lawsuits in time prior to the passage of the Child Victims Act a chance for justice. On Aug. 14, a one-year “look back window” will open, allowing cases to be brought forward regardless of the victim’s age and the date of the offense.
The grand jury also concluded that the state laws on the statute of limitations needed to be changed, noting that numerous priests would have been liable for criminal and civil charges had not the crimes taken place decades before.
Victims of child sex abuse can get confidential support by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or chatting online at hotline.rainn.org.
Disclaimer: This post was compiled by Malika Bourne the No Non-cents Nanna for educational purposes only.
This post is not meant to be legal advice nor take the place of a professional therapist. I only hope that this blog can be an eye-opener to the facts on sexual abuse particularly when the complexity involved religion and churches.