Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests in Aotearoa New Zealand reacts to stats released today on abuse in New Zealand’s Catholic Church.
Nationwide, New Zealand, 01 February 2022
Today’s report relates only to those cases where an actual complaint was lodged and recorded. The Catholic Church has simply released what information it has recorded and this should not be seen as a comprehensive listing of all abuse that has occurred. The actual scale of sexual abuse is very difficult to measure. Given the information SNAP holds, the actual scale of abuse is much higher, as high as twelvefold given about only one in twelve have reported.
Further, there is no means of verifying the authenticity or accuracy of the information released today. It has to be taken at face value. Many victims and survivors have not come forward to report abuse to the church for fear of retribution by what they perceived to be autocratic defensive clerical and religious hierarches who sought protection of themselves and their associates, thus leading to further cover-up and obstruction of a fair complaints process.
Further, SNAP information sources indicate that bishops and congregational leaders in New Zealand did not record complaints received, did not address the abusive behaviour occurring, and adopted a policy of coverup. Further, full details of what the specifics of the complaints are and those involved have still not been released into the Public Square. SNAP believes that the names of all accused perpetrators should be released into the Public Square, not just minimal numbers. Names of those against whom creditable complaints have been made, and those against whom complaints have not been upheld, ought to be made available to the public, with the reasons for the latter.
SNAP today has still not received support from most New Zealand Catholic bishops and major religious leaders for victims and survivors of abuse despite our requests.
SNAP Aotearoa New Zealand
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