Even the Vatican Wants to ‘Set the Record Straight’ on Sexual Abuse Across Denominations

Statement to the Human Rights Council of the UN
by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi
Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN

In a widely disparaged attempt to deflect attention from Catholic sexual abuse cases, Tomasi's statement to the UN emphasized that clergy sexual abuse also occurs in other denominations.  In making this argument, he cited an article by Rabbi Arthur Gross Schaefer on sexual misconduct in the Jewish community.

What Can You Do To Help?

Help your congregation and your community better understand this hidden, yet devastating, form of sexual violence

Sexual assault prevention advocates and experts on sexual misconduct can help create public awareness of the extent of adult victimization by priests, pastors, ministers, rabbis and other clergy. See list below for sexual assault awareness organizations that might offer workshops on this form of sexual violence.

Learn more about the extremely damaging impacts of this form of sexual violation. These results can lead to social isolation and acute psychological distress for the victims.

There are many books, websites and on-line articles available to provide in-depth discussion of this complex form of sexual violence.

Learn more about sexual exploitation by clergy and other helping professionals

Learn about the extent of sexual exploitation by licensed caregivers such as therapists, doctors and lawyers. Many people consider sexual abuse by clergy, therapists, doctors, etc to be extremely rare; unfortunately, news reports indicate that sexual abuse by these highly esteemed professionals occurs more frequently than most people realize.

Sexual relations between caregivers and those who entrust themselves to these professionals are violations of ethical codes of conduct and, in many states, are also considered criminal offenses. According to professional ethics guidelines and many criminal statutes, it is always the responsibility of the caregiver to maintain appropriate boundaries to protect those in his or her care.

Speak out!

If sexual violation by a beloved minister occurs in your community or your congregation, speak out:  It's A Crime, Not An Affair.

If you are a survivor of sexual assault by a doctor, therapist, police officer or member of the clergy

Sexual Assault Prevention Advocacy Groups

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Contact the sexual violence prevention alliance or coalition in your state

Contact the National Organization for Women

Contact Dean Diana Garland, Baylor University School of Social Work

Contact "Men Against Violence" organizations such as One in Four or Men Stopping Violence

Contact your local sexual assault crisis center

Contact the Department of Health in your state

Recommended Books and Websites on Sexual Misconduct by Priests, Pastors, Ministers, Rabbis and Other Clergy

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On-line Articles on Sexual Misconduct by Priests, Pastors, Ministers and Rabbis

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