London Catholic school abuse survivor speaks of 'constant violence'
By Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian, January 1, 2018
A man who was abused as a child at a Catholic school in London has spoken of a “culture of violence” at the institution, where a former headmaster was jailed just before Christmas for rape and other sexual offences.
“The threat and infliction of violence was constant. You couldn’t escape it – it was completely normalised,” said the survivor, who gave evidence in court against Andrew Soper, known as Father Laurence.
The former headmaster of St Benedict’s middle school, who later became abbot of Ealing Abbey in west London, is thought to be the most senior Catholic priest to be convicted of sex crimes in the UK. He is the fourth person to be convicted of sexual abuse committed at St Benedict’s.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.