News Story of the Day

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

Time’s Person of the Year: ‘The Silence Breakers’ for speaking out against sexual harassment

Time magazine has named “The Silence Breakers” as its 2017 Person of the Year, recognizing the women (and some men) who came forward with stories of sexual harassment and assault and helped force a nationwide reckoning.

The magazine calls them “the voices that launched a movement.”

Among them Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, the actresses whose stunning accusations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein helped lead to his downfall; and activist Tarana Burke, creator of the #MeToo movement, along with the Hollywood star who amplified it on social media, Alyssa Milano.

In Sex Abuse Cases, an Expiration Date Is Often Attached

DEC. 4, 2017, The New York Times

When John Humphrey was a student at the Pingry School in Basking Ridge, N.J., in the early 1970s, he was sexually abused by a teacher, he said. It began when he was 11 years old, and happened several times a week over two school years, until he left the school after the sixth grade.

Ray Dackerman said he was abused more than 100 times while he was a student at Pingry around the same time, beginning when he was 12 years old. The abuse took place in the teacher’s office and in Boy Scout tents, and even in the teacher’s home while his wife was in the house.

COMMENTARY We must start believing victims of child abuse

Observer Reporter, December 3, 2017

“Who did you tell?”

“What did they do after you told them?”

These are questions I ask almost every child that I interview. The answers are important; they tell me not just who the child trusts, but also about that child’s history, including what their life as a survivor of childhood sex abuse has been like. I am a child abuse pediatrician, specializing in the care of children with concerns for neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. The majority of my work is in sexual abuse, and I am often called to court to explain not only physical exam findings, but the process of disclosure. Most commonly, I explain why children wait to tell.

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