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Michigan Sexual Abuse Survivor Law Blog

Catholic parents are taking steps to protect their children

Participating in services and church-related activities is something that is important for many Catholic families.

But many parents feel conflicted between the desire to raise children in the Church – and ensuring that their children are safe in an era where sexual abuse by priests is a possibility.

What can families of abuse survivors do to support their loved ones?

Recovery from sexual abuse is an ongoing and challenging process. But survivors don't have to go through it alone. There are numerous types of support that can help survivors during their recovery journey.

For one, survivors' rights attorneys can provide legal support to help individuals who have faced sexual abuse pursue justice through civil legal claims. Such claims can provide a route to resources to help with recovery.

High-profile Catholic leaders convicted of abuse

It has been a rough few years for the Catholic Church. 2018 was called the worst year for the Catholic Church since the Protestant Reformation in 1517. Last August, a grand jury report was released naming more than 300 predator priests in Pennsylvania. And the Pope recently acknowledged the widespread abuse of nuns within the church.

Sexual abuse has rocked the Catholic Church, and it’s not just priests who are being convicted. Several senior officials within the church have been accused and convicted of both initiating abuse and covering it up. A USA Today article detailed 5 Catholic leaders involved in the abuse:

Catholic Church concludes its first major summit on clergy abuse

Last weekend, the Catholic Church wrapped up a summit at the Vatican focused on the clergy abuse crisis. This was the first meeting of its kind. It lasted for four days. One hundred and ninety religious superiors and bishops were invited to it by Pope Francis.

At a mass closing out the summit last Sunday, the pope called for an "all-out battle" against clergy sex abuse and for an end to cover-ups.

Off-campus sexual assaults and the proposed federal rule changes

The problem of college sexual assault is not one that is limited to school grounds. In fact, a recent analysis suggests that, at major colleges, it is common for there to be more off-campus abuse incidents than on-campus ones.

The analysis, by the Associated Press, looked at data on sexual assault reports provided by eight major public universities. The data indicates that reports of off-campus incidents outnumbered reports of on-campus ones at five of these schools.

Nuns and abuse within the Catholic Church

Over the past decade and a half, there have been several high-profile stories of widespread clergy abuse occurring within the Catholic Church.

In 2002, The Boston Globe broke a story about their investigation of sexual abuse within the Archdiocese of Boston, involving priest John Geoghan, who allegedly abused 130 people between 1962 and 1995.

The #MeToo movement and workplace culture

The #MeToo movement has had considerable impacts in our society and has put a light on very important issues. One would hope that the response of businesses to this movement would be to improve their workplace cultures so that all their employees feel respected and safe from abuse and harassment. Unfortunately, it appears that this might not be happening as quickly and in as widespread of a way as would be hoped.

Recent surveys have shown that it is pretty common for female employees to indicate that they feel that not much has changed at their company since the #MeToo movement started. For example, a survey from Fairygodboss found that around seven in ten women reported that the movement hasn’t triggered any impacts at their workplace.

The Catholic Church abuse scandal is changing our communities

Recent news articles have detailed how the sexual abuse scandal has affected the Catholic Church.

CNN recently published a news article, calling 2018 the worst year for the Catholic Church since the Protestant Reformation in 1517. Federal investigations are taking place in 12 states and Washington D.C. Many Catholics are questioning whether to stay a part of the church. And a former Vatican ambassador has recommended that the Pope step down.

Are medical boards responding properly to sexual misconduct?

State medical boards, with their authority over medical licenses and their disciplinary processes, could play an important role in keeping doctors who have sexually abused patients from being in a position where they could cause more harm. But are such boards currently doing enough in this regard?

A recent analysis raises concerns on this front. The analysis, by Kaiser Health News, looked at what sanctions the Medical Board of California has issued over the past 10 years when it comes to cases of alleged sexual abuse by doctors.

Abuse in youth organizations

For many young people, participating in youth organizations is an important part of childhood. Children are able to build friendships, learn teamwork, learn valuable life skills, and have fun at the same time.

The vast majority of children will have positive experiences while participating in these groups.

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