Statement on Report of Clergy Abuse in France and Call for a US Presidential Commission to Investigate Child Sex Abuse from Coalition of Advocacy Groups

Statement on Report of Clergy Abuse in France and Call for a US Presidential Commission to Investigate Child Sex Abuse from Coalition of Advocacy Groups

 
Recent news estimated 216,000 minors were abused by members of the Catholic clergy in France over the past seven decades. These eye-opening statistics are indicative of the unfortunate truth that child sex abuse is pervasive in our society and that such abuse is vastly underreported. Indubitably, the true number is higher - and this behavior is not limited to the Catholic Church, it is occurring throughout many institutions. It’s time for the United States to form a Presidential Commission to investigate child sex abuse, modeled after successful commissions in other countries such as Australia, in order to bring abuse claims to the surface.
 
CHILD USA Founder/CEO Marci Hamilton says that the government must hold institutions accountable. “Time for the U.S. to follow the lead of France, Ireland, U.K., and Australia and face up to the truth of entrenched institution-based child sex abuse. The #MeToo movement encouraged survivors to start speaking up. It takes government action for institutions to listen and change.”
 
"This report from France is the latest to bring attention to the systemic nature of clergy abuse cover-ups perpetrated worldwide, and we know that responses from responsible institutions have been woefully inadequate. It is time for the United States to follow in the footsteps of countries like Australia, Ireland, and the UK and commission a federal level investigation and Presidential commission in order to determine what went wrong in the past and how we can prevent similar horrors in the future," said Zach Hiner, Executive Director of SNAP.
“This is a critical moment for child protection,” said Darkness to Light President and CEO Katelyn N. Brewer. “Today, there are more people ready and empowered to take action on behalf of children than at any point in our nation’s history; it’s time for our government to step up to meet its constituents’ demands. The safety of children from sexual abuse and violence must become a legislative priority if we want our communities to thrive.”
 
“This report is another tragic example of the unmet responsibility of institutions to protect children. Professionals, advocates, and communities are stepping up to take action. It is now time for our government leaders to implement policies that prioritize the safety and wellbeing of children. The work of the Keep Kids Safe Coalition has outlined a blueprint to support such legislative priorities. The time to act is now,” said Lynn Layton, President and CEO, Monique Burr Foundation for Children.
The Army of Survivors Executive Director Julie Ann Rivers-Cochran: "The recent report from France is another example of how institutions systematically fail to address sexual abuse. Alongside our partners in the Keep Kids Safe Coalition, we urge the United States legislature to form a Presidential Commission that will focus on child and survivor wellbeing to dismantle systems that support abuse while preventing future occurrences. The impact abuse can have on child survivors is immeasurable, and as a country we must implement policies that put the safety of children first.”
 
CHILD USA, SNAP, Darkness to Light, Monique Burr Foundation for Children, The Army of Survivors, and Together for Girls are members of the Keep Kids Safe Coalition – a powerful collection of organizations united in the fight for child protection. The Keep Kids Safe Coalition will be releasing its Federal Policy Blueprint on November 18th, which is World Day in Recognition of Prevention, Healing and Justice to End Sexual Violence Against Children & Adolescents. Included in this Blueprint is the call for a bipartisan commission established through executive order or through legislation to act as a catalyst to collect and synthesize data and research so that policymakers and the public would garner a comprehensive understanding of the crisis, the costs to society, and the potential to scale-up available solutions to prevent, heal, and ensure justice.
 
                                   
                                                                          

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  • Michael McDonnell
    published this page in Media Statements 2021-10-07 13:27:14 -0500

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