Today, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York released the long anticipated report regarding The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010.â€ It is the second of two studies about sexual abuse by Catholic priests. The first study focused on the description and extent of the problem from 1950 to 2002 and was published in February, 2004.
The extensive report concluded that there was no single cause or predictor of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. According to the report, Social and cultural changes in the 1960s and 1970s manifested in increased levels of deviant behavior in the general society and also among priests of the Catholic Church in the United States. Organizational, psychological, and situational factors contributed to the vulnerability of individual priests in this period of normative change.
The study provides vital information on this devastating issue that has affected so many lives throughout society. With this knowledge the Church will continue to expand educational programs, policies and procedures to extend a safe environment to all children and vulnerable adults.
In the Diocese of Davenport, all employees and those volunteers who work on a regular basis with childrenare mandated to receive safe environment training through the Virtus Protecting God's Children Program. Over 7,465 people have been trained since the program began in 2003. In 2010, the Diocese of Davenport was audited by the Gavin Group, of Boston, MA, and found to be in compliance with the Charter. The Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator continues to provide outreach to survivors. Bishop Amos supports the complete elimination of all criminal statutes of limitation for child sexual abuse committed by clergy or others in similar positions of authority
While the majority of cases occurred decades ago, the Church and society at large must remain vigilant in keeping our children safe and to provide assistance to survivors of abuse.
To report child sexual abuse
Contact the Iowa Department of Human Services
Child Abuse Hotline: 800-362-2178
If the abuse involves clergy or church personnel, also notify
Alicia Owens, Victim Assistance Coordinator: 563-349-5002
PO Box 232 Bettendorf, IA
Abuse Survivor's Support Group
The Diocese of Davenport is offering a support group for adult survivors of sex abuse as children. If you are interested in learning more about the support group, contact Alicia Owens, Victim Assistance Coordinator: 563-349-5002.
Protecting God's Children
Sessions are open to all adults in the Diocese of Davenport and are mandated for all employees and those volunteers who work on a regular basis with children. To pre-register for a session, go to www.virtus.org and click on registration.