For the record, it is assumed that 2-5% of some 60,000 priests have been involved in some form of sexual abuse. Depending on the research the instances are slightly less for ministers. The stats for rabbis are lower but the conclusions generally supported that the ability to hush things up are rigid. The now defunct Jewish Awareness Center estimates there were over a million phone calls and emails over a several year period requesting help after being abused by religious. No one is immune
It doesn’t end there. The Baylor School of Social Research did an extensive study of sexual abuse. The instances of over 1,000,000 abuse cases per annum result in a sexual assault every 2 minutes in the US. Mostly female, 80% are being attacked by family or close acquaintances.
They were brutalized by mothers, fathers, coaches, teachers, cousins, aunts, uncles, psychologists and yes clergy. The clergy of all types were actually the lowest incidence with a graduation in number to teachers, coaches and finally family or known to the family as the highest incidence. I just couldn’t fathom these results. I had never heard of this magnitude.
It is noted that 15% of school children from grades 1-12 experience some sort of inappropriate behavior. 6,000 coaches of all types have been convicted of some sort of illegal contact with their charges. Just for a moment let’s assume all these figures are 50% off, which I don’t believe they are. But using the lower number completely blows my mind.
Look, I am not in any way condoning the action of the Catholic Church. They were wrong and even after extensive law suits there are some of the Old Guard that just don’t get it. I do believe the Church is a monolithic entity that is a little easier to attack on both a procedural and economic front. They deserve the castigation but so do a lot of others.
After doing this sordid research, I keep going back to young kids to young adults who have been victims. I keep thinking about the really sick people from all walks of life. I am not sure if we have really become more perverse as a people or if that evil seed has always been there. It doesn’t matter.
Sadly the odds say that some of my readers have been affected….either personally or by association. Maybe it is happening either psychologically or physically right now. That’s heavy duty but I had to say it. We have got to take the lid off. If you are there, I hope this helps. If you are not there, thank God.
In our liberal society I can’t fathom any defense of this heinous scar on our humanity. To defile our young and defenseless by all types of offenders leaves me with a horrible taste in my mouth. I am not a rookie. I have seen good and bad but none quite like this.
To see that the info is there and for whatever reason we have only exposed it with regard to religion stumps me. I can only hope this will get some sort of traction that goes beyond this poor man’s epistle.
I will keep at it and try to be more upbeat. For now I am doing some tough pondering and saying some prayers for those poor young people.
Ted The Great
Factoid: Abuse spans all economic and ethnic genres. There was a young girl in an upscale Seattle suburb who was repeatedly raped over several months by her father and two brothers. Mom stood by.