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Abuse by nuns in the Catholic Church

When most people hear about abuse that occurs within the Catholic Church, most people imagine a scenario in which a male Church leader is initiating the abuse.

But some survivors of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church have a much different story: One that involves abuse by Catholic nuns.

A recent article by National Public Radio detailed the stories of two survivors of sexual abuse by nuns. One reported being abused by nun over the course of a decade. The first instance of abuse began after the nun drugged her and she became unconscious. She now struggles with drug and alcohol abuse, and PTSD.

The other survivor reported abuse beginning in the fourth grade and lasting through the sixth grade, when he started avoiding the nun. The abuse began when the nun showed the boy the difference between American and French kissing.

Some survivors of sexual abuse by nuns believe their stories have been overshadowed by stories of sexual abuse by priests. In August of 2018, a grand jury report revealed widespread child abuse by priests in Pennsylvania, where more than 1,000 children were abused by more than 300 priests over the past 70 years. This report only mentioned one instance of abuse by a nun.

While abuse by priests is certainly more widespread, abuse by nuns must be acknowledged.

On May 9, Pope Francis issued a decree stating that abuse by nuns should be reported to church leaders, just as abuse by priests is. This acknowledgement signals a turning point in the Church, which has often been accused of turning a blind eye to allegations of sexual abuse by church leaders.

Nuns, just like priests, hold positions of authority within the Catholic Church. When they abuse their authority and exploit children, they should be held accountable.

If you have experienced abuse by a nun or priest, consider talking to one of our attorneys completely confidential consultation. Call 877-259-1189.

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