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Child sexual abuse royal commission: recommendations and statistics at a glance

December 14, 2017, The Guardian

The Australian royal commission into the institutional responses to child sexual abuse has handed down its final report. Here are the key points

Key recommendations

The royal commission’s final report (pdf) has made 189 new recommendations, including:

  • The federal government should establish a National Office for Child Safety, sitting within the department of prime minister and cabinet. Its first job should be to develop a national framework to prevent child sexual abuse.
  • The federal government should create a portfolio overseeing policy towards children
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Priest led away in handcuffs after judge hands down 1-year sentence for sexual contact with child

By Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 15, 2017

It started when she was in first grade, when she still had her baby teeth.

Robert Marsicek, a priest she trusted, repeatedly molested her at a Catholic school in Wauwatosa.

"My little self thought it was OK and I thought that this was normal," she said.

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Catholic Church Singled Out In Australian Sex Abuse Report

By Scott Neuman, December 15, 2017, NPR

In a far-reaching report on child sex abuse in Australia, a government commission is recommending that the country's Catholic Church lift its celibacy requirement for diocesan clergy and be required to report evidence of abuse revealed in confession.

Those are among the 400 recommendations contained in the 17-volume final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, which is wrapping up a five-year investigation – the longest in Australia's history.

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We All Helped Build The Wall Of Silence Around Victims Of Sexual Assault

By Guila Benchimol, December 12, 2017, Huffington Post

Gretchen Carlson, whose sexual harassment claims led to Roger Ailes's downfall, recently stated that "the culture of concealment and denial is coming to an end" and the Silence Breakers were just named Time Magazine's Person of the Year. But a culture of silence does not simply end when its victims are ready to speak up. For victims to be heard, we must understand what role we play in building the silence around them.

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Whether Hollywood or the Vatican, patriarchy gives men license to abuse

By Jamie Manson, December 12, 2017, National Catholic Reporter

In mid-November, at what many thought was the height of revelations about sexual misconduct by powerful men in the media (we were post-Harvey Weinstein and Louis C.K., but pre-Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer), the New Yorker Radio Hour presented a series of interviews on the fallout from the unrelenting flood of sordid tales of sexual misconduct and assault by men.

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Archdiocese pays 3 local men $250K each after priest-abuse claims

KINGSTON – Three Hudson Valley men abused by a Catholic priest decades ago will receive $250,000 each in compensation from the New York Archdiocese, according to their Kingston lawyer.

Joe O’Connor of Mainetti, Mainetti & O’Connor confirmed the payouts Friday.

The money from the Archdiocese was authorized after a review of the claims the three men filed with the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.

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Pastor, Christian festival founder abused minors for 16 years, authorities say

A church pastor is accused of sexually assaulting four minors over a 16-year period.

Harry L. Thomas, 74, of Medford Township, faces charges of aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office.
The alleged assaults came to an end two years ago. Thomas is currently the pastor of Come Alive Church in Medford. He is also a co-founder of the Creation Festival, said to be the nation's largest Christian rock festival, first held in Pennsylvania in 1979.
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Pastor at Come Alive Church accused of juvenile sex crimes

By Jim Walsh, December 7, 2017, NJ Courier-Post

MEDFORD - A 74-year-old pastor active in promoting Christian music festivals is accused of sexually assaulting four minors here over a 16-year period, authorities said Thursday.

Harry L. Thomas, who preached at Come Alive Church in Medford, allegedly assaulted his victims between 1999 and 2015, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office.

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In 1960, she went to confession and vanished. Now we know the priest murdered her.

For more than five decades, the black-and-white image of Irene Garza has haunted the town of McAllen, Tex., her story painfully recounted again and again.

She was a 25-year-old dark-haired former beauty queen, her high school’s first Latina drum majorette, the first in her family to graduate from college. She was named Miss All South Texas Sweetheart, and worked as a teacher for disadvantaged children.

But at the center of Garza’s life was her Catholic faith. In a letter to a friend in April 1960, she wrote about how she was no longer afraid of death. “You see, I’ve been going to communion and Mass daily and you can’t imagine the courage and faith and happiness it has given me,” she wrote in the letter, according to Texas Monthly.

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FORMER ABBOT LAURENCE SOPER CONVICTED OF SEXUALLY ABUSING BOYS AT CATHOLIC SCHOOL

By Rose Gamble, December 6, 2017, The Tablet

'Soper abused his position as a teacher and as a priest to abuse children for his own sexual gratification'

The former Abbot of Ealing Abbey, Laurence Soper, has been convicted of abusing 10 boys at a Catholic-run school in the 1970s and 80s.

Andrew Soper, 74, was found guilty on Wednesday afternoon of 19 individual rape and sexual offences of offences after a trial at London’s Old Bailey.

Soper sexually abused 10 boys while he was a teacher at St Benedict’s School, Ealing. He would abuse them after hitting them with a cane, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

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