From India to Africa, Ireland to Australia, Child Sexual Abuse is a Global Problem

Posted on Dec. 3, 2012

By DAN FASY

Although the focus of our law firm is providing a service to American and Canadian survivors of sexual abuse, we are constantly reminded of the problem of child sexual abuse that is pervasive throughout the world.

The crime of pedophilia, of course, is scarcely restricted to the United States, even though such domestic abuses fittingly get the bulk of the attention in this country. Perhaps this gives some American news consumers the impression that the scourge of such abuses is more prevalent in this country. That being the case, perhaps we would do well to acknowledge the abundance of child-sexual-abuse news emanating from countries around the world.

A sampling of news items from the past month includes the following:

A recent report in The Herald Sun, a major newspaper in Australia found that a decision by Prime Minister Julia Gillard to establish a royal commission into child sexual abuse “has the backing of almost every Australian.”

A well-regarded pollster asked some 1,400 Australians about the prime minister’s initiative, and 95 percent said they support the move, with just 3 percent opposed to it.

The director of the poll later said he couldn’t remember any issue ever receiving such near-unanimous approval.

Beyond that, the news account observed that the royal commission, which will inquire into all institutions, not only churches, “has the support of all political parties, state and federal.”

In contrast to such enlightened poll numbers, a few weeks prior to the above the Daily Observer in Africa actually carried an opinion piece headlined: “Gambia: Say ‘No’ to Child-sex Tourism.” One wonders: as opposed to say “yes” to such an abomination?

Coincidentally, a few weeks ago The Times of India reported that a campaign under the banner of “say no to child abuse” would soon be launched by a group of non-government organizations. The campaign is the work of officials at an advocacy group called Childline.

One advocate, Dr. Jagmeet Chawla, said: “This should be made a mass movement and the issue should not be kept under wraps.”

Several days prior to the above dispatch, CNN carried a brief item with information similar to what tragically has become all too familiar to news consumers and criminal-justice officials:

“London (CNN) — A retired bishop and a retired priest have been arrested by British police on suspicion of sexual offenses against boys and young men — one as young as 12 — in the 1980s and 1990s.

“The 80-year-old former Church of England bishop, from Somerset in south-west England, was questioned in connection with eight alleged offenses before being released on medical advice.

“Police say the man — the highest-ranking church official to be arrested on abuse allegations — will be questioned again at a later date.

“His former colleague, a 67-year-old retired priest from West Sussex, in southern England, was questioned over two alleged offenses before being released on bail pending further inquiries.”

 

From the Nov. 6 edition of the Irish Examiner:

“The vast majority of sex-abuse survivors who sought help in rape-crisis centers last year were attacked as children, it was revealed today.

“Of the 2,308 people who went for counseling, 53 percent of the women and 84 percent of the men reported the violence occurred when they were children only. Some 65 percent of survivors said they were abused aged younger than 12.

“The Rape Crisis Network of Ireland (RCNI) revealed that those who came forward last year had waited on average 25 years to access its services.”

 

From BBC News, Nov. 5:

“The prime minister is appointing a ‘senior independent figure’ to look into the way allegations of sexual abuse at north Wales children’s homes in the 1970s and ’80s were dealt with.

“Victim Steve Messham has said that the Waterhouse inquiry of 2,000 only covered a fraction of the alleged assaults.

“Another of the homes’ residents says [officials] did not hear all of the abuse claims.”

Tragically, such also could be observed by those of us in many other parts of the world.

Our attorneys are highly experienced in childhood sexual abuse law and offer free initial consultations to potential clients. We are also willing to assist other attorneys in sexual abuse cases. Please call 206-257-3590, or email us directly. Conversations will be kept confidential, and even if you are unsure about a lawsuit, often we can direct you to the assistance you need. You will be treated with compassion and respect.

 

Toll free: 855-529-4274
Tim Kosnoff, direct: 425-837-9690
Dan Fasy, direct: 206-462-4338
Kosnoff Fasy, Seattle office: 206-257-3590

Boy Scouts’ Hidden Files: Documents Highlight The Horrors Of Sexual Abuse Of Children

Editor’s note: This editorial, written by the Anniston Star in Anniston, Alabama, is one of the best editorials we’ve seen on the need for safety reforms in the Boy Scouts of America.

by The Anniston Star Editorial Board

Oct 22, 2012

The Boy Scouts of America own a quality reputation forged by decades of teaching, mentoring and training young American males.

Last week’s shocking news — that Scout leaders kept thousands of pages of “perversion files” about accusations of sexual abuse of young Scouts — has sullied the BSA’s reputation and forced BSA leaders to address nearly a century of inexcusable actions.

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Catholic Officials Finagle Church Finances to Seem Poorer for Court Settlements, Investigation Finds

By TIM KOSNOFF

Decades of childhood sexual abuse by Catholic clergy is a grim reality for untold thousands of victims and a source of disgust for non-victims. It would be difficult to find anyone unaware of these cases and the resulting media coverage.

But another kind of malfeasance by Catholic church officials is less well known. It’s the topic of an investigation by the highly regarded periodical The Economist. In a recent issue of the London-based magazine (paper and online), the reporting is largely concerned with the ways Catholic officials have finagled church finances in order to seem poorer when court settlements are at hand.

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What are the Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse?

Sex abuse memories can be repressed for years.

The signs of sexual abuse are important to know. Consider the possibility of sexual abuse when a person exhibits the signs:

  • An increase in nightmares and/or other sleeping difficulties
  • Angry outbursts
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Withdrawn behavior
  • Pregnancy or contraction of a venereal disease, particularly if under age 14
  • Propensity to run away
  • Refusal to change for gym or to participate in physical activities
  • Regressive behaviors depending on their age (e.g., return to thumb-sucking or bed-wetting)
  • Reluctance to be left alone with a particular person or people
  • Sexual knowledge, language, and/or behaviors that are unusual and inappropriate for their age

Take it very seriously when a child reports sexual abuse by a parent or another adult caregiver. You may want to consider the possibility of sexual abuse when the parent or other adult caregiver:

  • Is unduly protective of the child or severely limits the child’s contact with other children, especially those of the opposite sex
  • Is secretive and isolated
  • Describes marital difficulties involving sexual relations or family power struggles.