Displaying items by tag: sexual abuse
Please pray for an end to sexual violence and abuse to pupils by pupils in the same school or social group. Children are sharing stories online of a rape culture where abnormal behaviour is now normalised. Soma Sara has set up a website, ‘Everyone's Invited’, for children to report sexual abuse and harassment. So far 11,000+ incidents have been reported. Police blamed a ‘high consumption of pornographic material. There's an erosion of understanding as to what normal sexual relationships look like. We are normalising sexual violence and have a real problem here’ said the National Police Chiefs' Council lead on child protection. A police helpline will be set up to ‘investigate allegations which are of a criminal nature’. The trivialisation of sexism and misogyny is a gateway to rape and sexual assault.
Archbishop Wojciech Polak has called on the Church hierarchy to launch proceedings following the release of a documentary telling the story of two brothers who sought to confront the priest who allegedly abused them as children. The Vatican is expected to assign an investigator to the case. The film, ‘Hide and Seek’, has been viewed over 1.9 million times on YouTube and is the second documentary on the subject by Marek and Tomasz Sekielski. Poland plans to double jail terms for paedophiles, and the Pope has made it mandatory for clergy to report abuse after victims failed to bring to account those in the Church who were responsible for covering up their abuse. A senior bishop allegedly knew about the allegations for years without taking any action.
The historical child abuse allegations against the Vatican continue after three former altar boys who were at a seminary in the Vatican in the 1980s have now accused two priests of sexually abusing them. They said they were between the ages of 10 and 14 at the time. The allegations will be explored in an investigative Italian TV show on 24 November.
MPs debated the Gemma White report of bullying incidents in the Commons on 17 July. Coincidentally, a day after another inquiry found that staff were ‘bullied and harassed’ by ‘known offenders’ in the House of Lords. The commons decided to allow the parliamentary complaints scheme to investigate historical allegations of bullying and harassment incidents, which date from before June 2017. It comes after a report said that there was a ‘significant problem’ of MPs bullying and harassing staff, including some making unwanted sexual advances. Fewer than 30 MPs were in attendance at the debate, where the Commons Leader said MPs must ‘bring forward much needed change at the earliest possible opportunity’. Pray for the lewd, aggressive and intimidating behaviour by certain MPs and senior staff that has been tolerated and concealed for years to be finally revealed and offenders to be publicly condemned.
Catholic bishops are meeting to discuss the Roman Catholic church's response to the sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy for the first time. The Vatican says it wants four days of reflection and discussion with survivors and it is likely to be a defining moment for Pope Francis. Before the conference, Archbishop Eamon Martin offered a message to survivors and victims of abuse in Ireland asking for forgiveness and ensuring that church activities are as safe as possible for children and vulnerable people. Meanwhile women in the Contemplative Sisters of St John who were sexually abused by priests when younger, then silenced, are now speaking out. CNN has spoken to several women who say they are victims of the devastating sexual, psychological and spiritual abuse they suffered within the community. See
The ‘C-9’ are nine cardinals from around the world who meet four times a year to advise the Pope. At the end of their most recent meeting they announced that he had summoned senior bishops from around the world to the Vatican to discuss the protection of minors. The heads of the national bishops' conferences will meet in February 2019 to try to come to grips with a spreading sexual abuse crisis in the USA, Chile, Australia, Germany, and elsewhere. It was recently revealed that 1,670 German priests had sexually abused 3,677 minors, mostly males, over a seventy-year period. A US grand jury found 301 priests in Pennsylvania guilty of sexually abusing minors over a similar period. In August, Italian archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò accused the Pope of knowing about sexual misconduct by a US cardinal and doing nothing about it.
Institutions like the Church are putting their reputations ahead of victims of child sexual abuse, said an interim report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse on 25 April. They examined 21 British institutions, including the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. Religious institutions were the third largest group of abusers, after schools and children's homes. When it came to the effect on victims' faith, the report said, ‘Victims and survivors may question their religion and spiritual beliefs, particularly where the perpetrator was connected to their religion or faith. They may also use religion and faith as a coping mechanism for resilience and recovery.’ The CofE's deputy safeguarding bishop welcomed the report and said, ‘As a Church we will be studying the report and the panel's recommendations carefully, particularly those which suggest specific changes to help us as an institution to give children better protection from sexual abuse.’