Another Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Former Bishop Michael Bransfield
Another sexual abuse lawsuit has been filed against the former Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston, WV. We hope that this news will encourage any other victims who are suffering in silence to find the strength to come forward and start healing.
The complaint against former Bishop Michael Bransfield is centered on the case of a young seminarian who was recent to the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. Our hearts ache for this seminarian and others like him who were hurt by the men who were supposed to be their mentors and teachers.
A recent study showed that 6% of all seminarians in the U.S. have faced harassment or abuse, and 68% of those seminarians who experienced abuse either did not report or did not report all the harassment they experienced. We hope that this news will encourage other seminarians who may have experienced similar crimes to make a report to law enforcement and help bring more attention to these cases.
When more victims start speaking up, institutions and law enforcement are better able to identify abusers, remove them from their positions of power, and prevent future cases of abuse.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org; our Australia website is SNAPAustralia.org)