By TIM KOSNOFF
Members of my law firm would be less than candid if we said we aren’t pleased with the publicity our work has recently won. This isn’t so much because of any benefit the media coverage has brought to us. It’s about the nature of the work we do: defending child victims of sexual predators.
From years of representing abuse victims, I’ve learned that the media spotlight is nearly always welcome. That’s because the press spells out the horrors of sexual abuse and the often egregious enabling on the part of institutions. And the court of public opinion demands change. We saw it in 2002 when the Boston Globe uncovered wide-spread sexual abuse by priests within the Archdiocese of Boston. In the ensuing decade, similar cases came to light nationwide. We saw it this year with Penn State. And now we’re likely to see the public demanding improved safety measures from the Boy Scouts of America. The media interest in recent days promises to give victims ever greater impetus to come forward and join the battle against pedophiles, so many of whom continue to function undiscovered and unpunished.
This past week, we’ve spoken with reporters from “CBS Morning News,” CNN, the Los Angeles Times, The Oregonian and The San Diego Union-Tribune, to name a few news organizations. Each reporter has been asking the right questions: How could this happen? How could an organization that professes to hold dear the finest of American values continue to put kids at risk?
Reporters have been thoughtful in their questions and their approach to the story. All of this is bittersweet because for years it’s often been a solo journey, fighting with brave clients along the way. I was hoping that at some point the broader public could see what I saw in these confidential files and share my concern.
Sharing this information with welcomed readers is scarcely about self-aggrandizement. It’s about taking this cause forward one reader — or one thousand — at a time.
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