Nearly 3,800 Cases Brought Forward Thanks to New York’s Child Victims Act, Other States Must Follow Suit
The opening of a “window to justice” in New York has allowed nearly 3,800 lawsuits for child sexual abuse and cover-up to be filed, bringing forward critical information about active abusers and enablers in nearly every part of civil society, from schools to churches to youth camps. This staggering number of lawsuits speaks to the clear need in New York that allowed the Child Victims Act to be passed in the first place and should be a signal to lawmakers nationwide that opening up courtrooms to survivors can have benefits for their own states, too.
Congressman Asks Department of Justice to Investigate “Hate Crimes” against Catholics while Ignoring Scourge of Sexual Abuse in Catholic Institutions
A congressman from Tennessee has written to the Department of Justice, formally requesting that they get involved in “hate crimes” perpetrated in Catholic churches. We support Congressman Chuck Fleischmann’s call for federal intervention in crimes committed on Catholic Church property, but not in the way he is suggesting.
We applaud the brave survivors of sexual abuse who have stepped forward and forced the Coptic Church in the United States to reckon with sexual abuse and cover-up within its own ranks. We hope that church officials will learn from the failures of other religious institutions and immediately seek to cooperate with secular officials who can help root out abusers and enablers and create an environment that is safer for children and vulnerable adults.
A lawsuit against a West Virginia diocese can move forward after a request to dismiss filed by Catholic officials was denied by the circuit court. We are glad that this lawsuit can move forward and hope that it encourages other survivors to speak up and make reports to law enforcement.
Two more priests from the Diocese of Las Cruces have been accused of sexual abuse and we call on Catholic officials to do extensive outreach to their parish communities about these allegations, sharing the information and encouraging victims and witnesses to come forward and make a report to the police.
SNAP Sendai has learned about harassment from church officials at the Archdiocese of Nagasaki and are now calling for a public apology.
Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo formally extended New York’s Child Victim’s Act for an additional year. We applaud this decision and believe that this will help more victims come forward, bringing to light information that can protect children today and hold enablers of abuse accountable.
The Diocese of Camden, NJ is suspending all payouts to survivors of sexual abuse due to budgetary impacts from COVID. This is a hurtful and deceitful move that clearly shows that the best pathway for survivors to get justice is through the court system and not church-run programs.
The Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, has finally released a list of priests, nuns, and other church staff who have been accused of abuse. As one of the last dioceses in the country to release a list of “credibly accused,” we would expect their list to be one of the best in the country. Unfortunately, this list still needs significant improvements to be made.
Catholic officials from the Diocese of Helena, Montana, have responded to an abuse lawsuit by trying to shift the focus onto the victims instead of the alleged abusers, using public statements to “out” the family filing the lawsuit. We call on Diocesan leaders to defend themselves in real court instead of trying to use the court of public opinion to shame and scare those who are bringing allegations forward.