New York and through out the USA Catholic Church lobbying to block legislation reforms that extend statutes of limitations.
By MICHELE BETTI | b&a opinions
The New York Times wrote an editorial about how the Catholic Church is working over time to stop the passing of any legislation that protects victims of child abuse. What the Catholic Church fails to realize is that any legislation that increases the age in which a victim of child sexual abuse can come forward and expose his or her predator protects children. Why? Because it identifies and exposes the perpetrator, thus protecting future generations of children from abuse.
Most perpetrators who abuse children have no affiliation with the Catholic Church.
Most victims have been abused by a family member, an aunt or uncle, a close family friend, teacher, youth leader in a secular organization, parent, foster family, doctor, neighbor, and non-Catholic cleric. Despite these truths, the Catholic Church quite narcissistically makes any legislation increasing the age in which a child can come forward to expose his predator a referendum on it. Narcissism is the personality trait of egotism, often used as a pejorative, denoting vanity, conceit, egotism or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others. While it is true that the Catholic Church has culpability in its role in abusing children, it should restrain itself from making this an argument solely about it and the wrongs it committed and the cover up it invoked.
The Catholic Church says it is sorry for the wrongs it has committed and claims it has put in place measures to fix those wrongs. Well, if that is true, then it should let legislation go through that protects children. This legislation is common sense. It allows children to come forward at a more appropriate age when they can accept what happened to them, talk about it, expose their predator, and try to move forward with their lives.
When a predator is exposed parents can make an informed decision to keep their child away from that relative, neighbor, teacher, coach, youth leader, doctor, family member, cleric, or other parent. A child is saved when you support legislation that increases the age in which a child can come forward and tell of his or her abuse. Supporting child victims’ legislation saves a child from having to go through the hell that so many other children have had to go through. Quite simply put, it saves a life! These predators, who abused 5, 10, 20, 30 years ago, are still teaching, coaching, leading youth groups, providing health care, and working their way into the inner circles of families.
Allowing the legislature to pass laws to hold these predators responsible for their actions exposes these predators and takes them off the streets, takes them out of commission, takes away their opportunity to abuse again.
The Catholic Church has been lobbying against the interests of child abuse victims in state legislatures around the country. In recent weeks, lobbying by the church has blocked measures in Wisconsin, Arizona and Connecticut intended to widen the legal window for victims to file lawsuits against hidden predators. California exposed over 300 new predators and saved lives.
We need to protect New York’s children and stop shielding sexual abusers.
Please go to www.nychildvictimsact.org and urge your friends, family and work colleagues to support the Child Victim’s Act of New York (A2596B, Markey / S5893, Ruth Hassell Thompson).
Protect New York’s children.
Don’t shield their abusers.
To read more go to the New York Times Editorial
Copyright 2010, b&a opinions