Attorney Kelly Clark announces a new child sexual abuse lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011, in Portland, Ore. The lawsuit claims the leader of a Boy Scout troop in Oregon sponsored by the Mormon church sexually abused a boy in Portland in the 1980.
I know all to well the great lengths an organization will go to keeping secrets but I must say I am still always hoping to see an organization do the right thing. Sitting in the courtroom watching opening statements in the sex abuse case against the Boys Scouts of America I witnessed another example of corruption and cover-up. I am sure that sounds harsh but when it comes to our children I believe the duty to protect them from a sex offender should be the number one priority, not the protection of its own reputation. The scouts have over 1000 files documenting a decade of problems with sex abuse from all around the country that they have kept secret. Why? The attorney for the scouts said it was because the files were "were replete with confidential information." This information is confidential? Who do these people think they are. This information should have been turned over to the police.
So what we have here is a big organization with lots of money trying to cover up a crime and we have a lone victim trying to bring the secrets out. Reminds me of David and Goliath. Goliath is an intimidating and powerful force, much like the boy scouts. David faced down Goliath and won. I commend the man in this lawsuit for taking this case all the way to the courtroom. The public needs to know what he has been through. The public needs to know that the Scouts did not protect him from a known child molester. I commend the attorney, Kelly Clark for taking on the Boys Scouts of America. I know this is not an easy task, I know how much easier it would have been to settle this case out of court. This is an example of courageous action in the face of tremendous fear.
I come from a humble catholic upbringing. I was taught that the Pope was perfect. In fact, he was the closest thing to god himself according to the church. So imagine what a shocking revelation for me to learn that the Pope is a man just like all mankind. That his entrance into heaven has the same requirements mine have. He needs food, water and rest just like I do. He worked hard to be where he is today just like I am. What makes him different is he is a leader and he can make a difference in the world I live in. He has direct control over the priests under him. Because of the power the Pope and The Roman Catholic Church hold leaders from all over the world seek his counsel. Yet here they are in the news again because of another pedophile priest.
How long has the Roman Catholic Church been aware of the sex abuse problem, to long. How many more times will we hear in the news about another coverup. When will the new leadership of the Roman Catholic Church come forward and say enough is enough. Why did the Pope protect, conceal, and deny any wrong doing of another Priest?
We often take a lot of responsibility for the abuse. Telling us it is not our fault may help to lessen the guilt of shame, but it can't take it away.
We deal with a lot of shame. Please don't shame a survivor. It is the pattern we are trying to break.
The healing process for a survivor may take years. We may be in and out of therapy several times. New memories may surface, and new experiences may trigger us.
People who are survivors are often caretakers. It is a survival technique. It takes a long time to unlearn that behavior.
Survivors often resent being judged. We have judged and punished ourselves for years. We are usually harder on ourselves that anyone else can be.
People who are survivors don't want your pity.
Don't try to excuse the abuser's behavior.
Don't categorize survivors. Each case of abuse, although it may be similar, is a unique case. We don't all follow the same pattern of healing or behavior.
Not all survivors have clear images of the abuse or assault. We may need to deal with that lack of memories on a regular basis.
Even if we are safe now, we still may be fearful of our attacker or abuser.
Talking about it means "breaking the secret." Many of us are faced with the terror "breaking the secret" every time we talk about the abuse.
If a survivor chooses to talk to you about the abuse or assault, and you are uncomfortable about it, please say so. Let the survivor know you aren't uncomfortable with them, only the issue. The offer to find someone who is comfortable with the issue.
Please don't ask a survivor to forgive and forget. First of all, there is nothing we would rather do than be able to forget. But we can't--we have to learn how to deal with it.
Please don't ask a survivor if they are done dealing with it yet. That is a shaming question. The process of healing may take an entire lifetime.
adapted from the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault
I read the above statement in the newspaper regarding a local rape. The community is standing behind the rapist but what about the victim.
"Fact:The incidence of false reporting of rape is about 2 percent. This is about the same as that for false reporting of other felonies (Department of Social Services). Survivors of sexual assault are often traumatized again when they report the assault or rape since the process of making a police report itself can be very difficult. This re-victimization makes the likelihood of false reporting very minimal. It is far more likely that rape is very under-reported. Some experts estimate that only 1 in 10 rapes are ever reported."
I have been away from my blog because the Private Eye life has been busy .
I have a trial coming up for one of my criminal cases. Most people assume that all accused parties are guilty and that is just not true. This case is one that I feel very strongly our legal system has wasted their resourses trying to convict an innocent person. I am crossing my fingers the truth will prevail.
On another note I am chasing down the bad guys in an LDS sex abuse case. Wow, the cover up just continues to floor me. This is a case where the cover up stretches over the span of 30 years. Shame on that institution.
Thanks to Twitter I was hired to serve a complaint for a attorney out of Georgia here in Oregon.
Lastly, I am involved in promoting the Oregon Cup of Coffee Networkers. Our goal is to connect within our community, sharing ideas about the job market, marketing ideas for our individual businesses and connect with others to broaden our contacts. It has been very rewarding. I have met some really amazing professionals, people who are doing all they can to survive and thrive in uncertain times. Most importantly there is no cost to join--unless you consider the cost of a cup of coffee to much. Join me every other Tuesday at Park Place Coffee and Crepes @10:00 am.
Thanks for reading,
Dawn Krantz-Watts, All Things Legal Investigations