Legal Analysis and Commentary from Justia
Posted In Criminal Law

The Universal Need for the Mandatory Reporting of Child Sexual Abuse

Just in case you believed that Penn State was the only university with the problem of child sex abuse on campus, The Citadel’s president just publicly apologized for failing to report information about alleged abuse that had occurred during a summer camp held at the military college.

And that is not the only brush with the issue for The Citadel, which apparently settled claims against another Citadel camp counselor to the tune of $3.8 million in 2006.

Does anyone truly think Penn State and the Citadel are the only two universities in the country with secrets to hide on child sex abuse?  Me neither.

Thus, I believe that it’s urgent that we engage in a national discussion about the law regarding the reporting of such abuse, on university campuses and everywhere else.

The Ideal Solution Is Universal Mandatory Reporting

It is now a rite of passage for athletic kids to go to college campuses for summer sports camps.  And wherever kids go, sadly, so do pedophiles.

So now parents must worry about their children’s vulnerability to sexual abuse in schools, churches, synagogues, temples, Boy Scout troops, and even universities.

Families must demand better information, and the only way to have more reliable information is through mandatory reporting laws.

A Hotline—Coupled With Immunity From Defamation Claims for Those Who Report Abuse in Good Faith—Should Be Part of the Solution

Here is a description of what, in my view, would be the ideal state law:  It would mandate that every adult with information about a child’s having been—or being, on an ongoing basis—sexually abused must report that information to a state hotline.

The hotline’s operators would be trained to take down the relevant information, and to funnel that information to the right state entity or entities—including child protective services, and/or the police, and/or the foster care oversight agency.

The hotline would keep a record of the name of the person who reported the abuse, but the identity of the person doing the reporting would be kept confidential, unless there was evidence that the report had been made in bad faith.

Moreover, any adult who made a good faith report would be immune from any attempt to sue him or her for defamation, but knowingly false reports would lead to penalties.  So much for the objection about false claims.

Another Part of the Solution Would Be Strong Failure-to-Report Penalties

Such a hotline would be vital, but it would not be enough.  In addition, the law should impose meaningful penalties upon an  adult who possesses information about the sexual abuse of a child, and fails to report that information to the hotline.

Beyond this, as well, institutions should be placed under an obligation to report abuse, so that the secret of the abuse cannot be bottled up in the organization.  We have been educated as a society by the struggles of the Catholic Church in ridding itself of the stench of child sex abuse cycling within the institution for decades, if not centuries.  Let’s learn from this historical lesson at least what is most obvious: containing information about sexual abuse is harmful to everyone.

There are many organizations that should have to report abuse, or suffer severe penalties for failing to do so.  They include, just to give a set of examples, public and private schools, including universities; day care organizations; gyms and sports clubs; churches, synagogues, and temples; and private clubs.

In Addition to Instituting Reporting Reforms, We Also Need to Ensure that Investigations Do Not Go Off Track

Let’s assume that we do put in place the universal reporting system I have suggested.  As we learned with Penn State, reports can be made, but investigations may not follow, or may go off-track.  How do we prevent that from happening?

Consider the Penn State scandal itself.  In 1998, the first report was made regarding Jerry Sandusky, who now has been accused of abusing scores of children.  The report came from a mother who contacted the University Police after she learned that Sandusky had showered with her son.

The campus police then investigated, as did the local District Attorney’s office, but ultimately the investigation was closed.  Why?  We do not know, in part because the District Attorney disappeared, along with the hard drive to his computer.

Let me hypothesize regarding the possible reasons the case might have been closed without any criminal charges:

First, the child’s account could have been discounted, once the investigators spoke with Sandusky—who, for all they knew, was the great guy he seemed to be.

Second, Sandusky’s allies in the University’s football program could have put quiet pressure on the campus police to wrap up the investigation as soon as possible.  Not because they wanted to protect a pedophile, but because, in their eyes at the time, he was a great guy.  This is another lesson for all of us: who are the pedophiles?  They are the nice guys and gals we want our kids to spend time with.  That’s why parents let their kids go off in the first place with these adults.  I will never forget what former FBI child abuse expert, Ken Lanning, said in a talk at Cardozo Law School—pedophiles don’t just seem nice.  They really are nice.  At the time, all I could think as a parent was, “Yikes!”  You can never let down your guard when you are protecting the vulnerable.

Third, and this does seem to have happened according to the grand jury report, the investigators could have given Sandusky a lecture about how he’d better never do it again, to which he readily agreed.  Pedophiles can seem very sincere.

I don’t know whether any of these conversations actually occurred, but each would be a plausible explanation for why the investigation of the 1998 report did not result in charges against Sandusky.  And each of these possible scenarios would be very disturbing, if true.

First, discounting a child’s account of inappropriate adult behavior is something that we do as adults instinctively.  But, in fact, children rarely lie about this sort of behavior, so if we discount children’s own reports, we are avoiding a hard reality, rather than listening to what is overwhelmingly likely to be the truth.

Second, no institution should be pressuring investigators to hastily investigate sexual abuse leads.  Haste in any criminal investigation is wrong.  And here, it is especially problematic, where there is so much at stake—for the child at issue, and also for many other children, given that so many abusers have multiple victims.

Finally, everyone ought to accept that lectures threatening that another violation will be met with penalties, are inadequate to deter a pedophile.  Compulsion is not overcome by logic or by fear.

We Need To Resist Claims that Mandatory Reporting Laws Need to Have Exceptions

To summarize briefly, mandatory reporting for all adults in a state is a very good beginning, and mandatory standards for abuse investigations – and close, impartial scrutiny of them—would also be welcome.

But, importantly, neither of these reforms will work as it should, without mandatory universal reporting.  That’s because exceptions to reporting requirements turn the organizations that receive them into unduly dangerous places for children.

Some states have exceptions to reporting requirements for clergy, or for clergy if the information was gained in the “confessional.”  And the “confessional” has been interpreted to mean not just a Catholic confession, but generally a confidential communication between clergy and a believer.

So, in such states, if a pedophile confesses child sex abuse to a priest, or Mormon bishop, or Orthodox rabbi, the idea is that the clergyperson should not have to report the abuse.  But where does that get us?  Sadly, it keeps the secret in the institution, and no one thrives more on secrecy than a pedophile.  With secrecy, the perpetrator can find the next victim in the very same institution, and can assume that the cloak of anonymity will cover his or her misdeeds with the next child.

Nevertheless, the Catholic and Mormon bishops still lobby for confessional exceptions to reporting requirements, and they still argue for broad interpretations of what counts as “confession” in the courts.  In short, they fight to keep the secrets of pedophiles within the organization.  That is very unfortunate—for the children, and for them.

By forcing the information outside the organization, mandatory reporting of child sex abuse saves not just the child, but also the institution.  Thus, those who support reporting exceptions in the belief that, in doing so, they are supporting their church—or school, or camp—get it exactly wrong.  Reporting requirements do not cripple institutions; rather, they force them to flush out their wrongdoers, thus making the institution a healthier environment.  And without such requirements, abuse will flourish, and the institution will weaken.  Just look at Penn State:  Had it embraced mandatory reporting, it would not be in the place it is now.

Marci A. HamiltonMarci A. Hamilton is the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, and the author of God vs. the Gavel: The Perils of Extreme Religious Liberty and Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children. She also runs two active websites covering her areas of expertise, the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, www.RFRAperils.com, and statutes of limitations for child sex abuse, www.sol-reform.com. Professor Hamilton blogs at Hamilton and Griffin on Rights. Her email address is hamilton02@aol.com.
Posted In Criminal Law
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  • Susan Pavlak

    I wholeheartedly agree that mandatory reporting laws (with no loopholes) and a hotline are necessary next steps to strengthen our ability to respond to abuse.  I  believe that  would enable us to capture  data that would challenge ourongoing cultural denial about the epidemic of sexual abuse.  Until the truth is told our ability to be other than reactive to the ongoing crises is hampered. 

  • Susan Pavlak

    I wholeheartedly agree that mandatory reporting laws (with no loopholes) and a hotline are necessary next steps to strengthen our ability to respond to abuse.  I  believe that  would enable us to capture  data that would challenge ourongoing cultural denial about the epidemic of sexual abuse.  Until the truth is told our ability to be other than reactive to the ongoing crises is hampered. 

  • Susan Pavlak

    I wholeheartedly agree that mandatory reporting laws (with no loopholes) and a hotline are necessary next steps to strengthen our ability to respond to abuse.  I  believe that  would enable us to capture  data that would challenge ourongoing cultural denial about the epidemic of sexual abuse.  Until the truth is told our ability to be other than reactive to the ongoing crises is hampered. 

  • Bruce C.

    No, absolutely not.  That is why we as taxpayers pay our municipality police.  They are the first responders.  We don’t need a knee jerk reaction to start another agency, a “state child abuse reporting agency” or anything of the like.  This is about holding those responsible accountable.  I jumped on the bandwagon initially and said fire them all.  Now with the new email surfacing about McQueary allegedly reporting the incident not only to the figure head of campus law enforcement, but also to the police themselves, I am not so sure I made the correct initial assessment.  I will wait for further details to emerge before I comment further.  If in fact a call or visit was made directly to police, they should be in jail for facilitating child rape.  AND, we don’t need some new state agency to tell us that.  

  • Bruce C.

    No, absolutely not.  That is why we as taxpayers pay our municipality police.  They are the first responders.  We don’t need a knee jerk reaction to start another agency, a “state child abuse reporting agency” or anything of the like.  This is about holding those responsible accountable.  I jumped on the bandwagon initially and said fire them all.  Now with the new email surfacing about McQueary allegedly reporting the incident not only to the figure head of campus law enforcement, but also to the police themselves, I am not so sure I made the correct initial assessment.  I will wait for further details to emerge before I comment further.  If in fact a call or visit was made directly to police, they should be in jail for facilitating child rape.  AND, we don’t need some new state agency to tell us that.  

  • Bruce C.

    No, absolutely not.  That is why we as taxpayers pay our municipality police.  They are the first responders.  We don’t need a knee jerk reaction to start another agency, a “state child abuse reporting agency” or anything of the like.  This is about holding those responsible accountable.  I jumped on the bandwagon initially and said fire them all.  Now with the new email surfacing about McQueary allegedly reporting the incident not only to the figure head of campus law enforcement, but also to the police themselves, I am not so sure I made the correct initial assessment.  I will wait for further details to emerge before I comment further.  If in fact a call or visit was made directly to police, they should be in jail for facilitating child rape.  AND, we don’t need some new state agency to tell us that.  

  • Jredeemed

    UNIVERSAL
    REPORTING OF SEXUAL AND OTHER KINDS OF ABUSES edit
    delete

    Thursday, November 17,
    2011

    According
    to the PA Department of Education, there is and always have been mandatory
    reporting requirements for educators or employees regarding sexual harassment
    against students. According to Purdon’s Statutes there are sound regulations as
    in the following excerpt:

    “23 Pa. C.S.A. Section 6352

    DATE OF ISSUE:  July 1, 1999
    REPLACES:    Abuse of Students by School Employees,
                  BEC 23 Pa. C.S. Section
    6301-6385 
                  issued July 1, 1998

        Act 151 of 1994, signed into law on December 16, 1994, amended
    the
    Department of Public Welfare’s Child Protective Services Law (CPSL).  The
    purpose of this notice to the schools is to outline those changes which
    affect a school’s policies and procedures regarding the reporting of
    suspected abuse of students by school employees and background checks for
    employment.”

        N’Jai reported sexual harassment against her and her 5th grade
    students, she went to the Superintendent, Director of Personnel, the police,
    and the court. She submitted written, verbal, and touch sexual harassment
    evidence. She had parent and colleague witnesses of the abuse. Not only did
    they sweep those truths under the rug, but also the court over ruled the jury
    verdict in case 98-640 and dismissed the case.Her witnesses were not even
    allowed to testify in court. According to the court, EEOC, and PAHRC N’Jai had
    no probable cause to sue or to complain. She was retaliated against,
    terminated, her salary was confiscated along with her benefits and severance
    pay, and she was defamed as being crazy for reporting drugs and sexual
    harassment during the pending of the sexual harassment and other cases from
    1994-2011.
        This is a clear case-reason why people hesitate or refuse to
    report instances of crimes of abuse and misconduct because they fear
    retaliation.
        The Penn State scandal is only one of many instances where many
    knew but failed to come forth. I as a victim can understand why.
        As a result of the victims being treated as accusers, and not
    having any real protection from EEOC and PAHRC or even the police, I dedicate
    this website to exposing the crimes. I do  admit my biases in reporting
    due to what happened to me, but it is my hope that this website will encourage
    someone, somewhere to stand up and speak out about sexual harassment and other
    abuses despite the dysfunctional agencies’ refusal to follow their own policies
    and law.
        This site goes to motive that until the EEOC, PAHRC, Courts,
    School Districts, and others responsible for the protection and enforcement of
    anti-discrimination policies and laws
    put these things into real practice, then cases like Penn State, N’Jai, along
    with others who have tried to participate in these legal activities and oppose
    race, sex, and other discrimination- then abusers will continue to hide their
    ugly faces and actions in secret darkest crevices of this already troubled
    society.

    Jacquelyn N’Jai

     

  • Jredeemed

    UNIVERSAL
    REPORTING OF SEXUAL AND OTHER KINDS OF ABUSES edit
    delete

    Thursday, November 17,
    2011

    According
    to the PA Department of Education, there is and always have been mandatory
    reporting requirements for educators or employees regarding sexual harassment
    against students. According to Purdon’s Statutes there are sound regulations as
    in the following excerpt:

    “23 Pa. C.S.A. Section 6352

    DATE OF ISSUE:  July 1, 1999
    REPLACES:    Abuse of Students by School Employees,
                  BEC 23 Pa. C.S. Section
    6301-6385 
                  issued July 1, 1998

        Act 151 of 1994, signed into law on December 16, 1994, amended
    the
    Department of Public Welfare’s Child Protective Services Law (CPSL).  The
    purpose of this notice to the schools is to outline those changes which
    affect a school’s policies and procedures regarding the reporting of
    suspected abuse of students by school employees and background checks for
    employment.”

        N’Jai reported sexual harassment against her and her 5th grade
    students, she went to the Superintendent, Director of Personnel, the police,
    and the court. She submitted written, verbal, and touch sexual harassment
    evidence. She had parent and colleague witnesses of the abuse. Not only did
    they sweep those truths under the rug, but also the court over ruled the jury
    verdict in case 98-640 and dismissed the case.Her witnesses were not even
    allowed to testify in court. According to the court, EEOC, and PAHRC N’Jai had
    no probable cause to sue or to complain. She was retaliated against,
    terminated, her salary was confiscated along with her benefits and severance
    pay, and she was defamed as being crazy for reporting drugs and sexual
    harassment during the pending of the sexual harassment and other cases from
    1994-2011.
        This is a clear case-reason why people hesitate or refuse to
    report instances of crimes of abuse and misconduct because they fear
    retaliation.
        The Penn State scandal is only one of many instances where many
    knew but failed to come forth. I as a victim can understand why.
        As a result of the victims being treated as accusers, and not
    having any real protection from EEOC and PAHRC or even the police, I dedicate
    this website to exposing the crimes. I do  admit my biases in reporting
    due to what happened to me, but it is my hope that this website will encourage
    someone, somewhere to stand up and speak out about sexual harassment and other
    abuses despite the dysfunctional agencies’ refusal to follow their own policies
    and law.
        This site goes to motive that until the EEOC, PAHRC, Courts,
    School Districts, and others responsible for the protection and enforcement of
    anti-discrimination policies and laws
    put these things into real practice, then cases like Penn State, N’Jai, along
    with others who have tried to participate in these legal activities and oppose
    race, sex, and other discrimination- then abusers will continue to hide their
    ugly faces and actions in secret darkest crevices of this already troubled
    society.

    Jacquelyn N’Jai

     

  • Jredeemed

    UNIVERSAL
    REPORTING OF SEXUAL AND OTHER KINDS OF ABUSES edit
    delete

    Thursday, November 17,
    2011

    According
    to the PA Department of Education, there is and always have been mandatory
    reporting requirements for educators or employees regarding sexual harassment
    against students. According to Purdon’s Statutes there are sound regulations as
    in the following excerpt:

    “23 Pa. C.S.A. Section 6352

    DATE OF ISSUE:  July 1, 1999
    REPLACES:    Abuse of Students by School Employees,
                  BEC 23 Pa. C.S. Section
    6301-6385 
                  issued July 1, 1998

        Act 151 of 1994, signed into law on December 16, 1994, amended
    the
    Department of Public Welfare’s Child Protective Services Law (CPSL).  The
    purpose of this notice to the schools is to outline those changes which
    affect a school’s policies and procedures regarding the reporting of
    suspected abuse of students by school employees and background checks for
    employment.”

        N’Jai reported sexual harassment against her and her 5th grade
    students, she went to the Superintendent, Director of Personnel, the police,
    and the court. She submitted written, verbal, and touch sexual harassment
    evidence. She had parent and colleague witnesses of the abuse. Not only did
    they sweep those truths under the rug, but also the court over ruled the jury
    verdict in case 98-640 and dismissed the case.Her witnesses were not even
    allowed to testify in court. According to the court, EEOC, and PAHRC N’Jai had
    no probable cause to sue or to complain. She was retaliated against,
    terminated, her salary was confiscated along with her benefits and severance
    pay, and she was defamed as being crazy for reporting drugs and sexual
    harassment during the pending of the sexual harassment and other cases from
    1994-2011.
        This is a clear case-reason why people hesitate or refuse to
    report instances of crimes of abuse and misconduct because they fear
    retaliation.
        The Penn State scandal is only one of many instances where many
    knew but failed to come forth. I as a victim can understand why.
        As a result of the victims being treated as accusers, and not
    having any real protection from EEOC and PAHRC or even the police, I dedicate
    this website to exposing the crimes. I do  admit my biases in reporting
    due to what happened to me, but it is my hope that this website will encourage
    someone, somewhere to stand up and speak out about sexual harassment and other
    abuses despite the dysfunctional agencies’ refusal to follow their own policies
    and law.
        This site goes to motive that until the EEOC, PAHRC, Courts,
    School Districts, and others responsible for the protection and enforcement of
    anti-discrimination policies and laws
    put these things into real practice, then cases like Penn State, N’Jai, along
    with others who have tried to participate in these legal activities and oppose
    race, sex, and other discrimination- then abusers will continue to hide their
    ugly faces and actions in secret darkest crevices of this already troubled
    society.

    Jacquelyn N’Jai

     

  • Maryheins2002

    Thank you, Ms hamilton, for providing this logical explanation of mandated reporting and what it should require of everyone.

  • Maryheins2002

    Thank you, Ms hamilton, for providing this logical explanation of mandated reporting and what it should require of everyone.

  • Maryheins2002

    Thank you, Ms hamilton, for providing this logical explanation of mandated reporting and what it should require of everyone.

  • Anonymous

    Requiring anyone and everyone to report anything and everything only guarantees
    that *more* children will be hurt.  Most cases are far more ambiguous than a man
    allegedly caught in the act of raping a child in the shower.  Nationwide, even
    now, more than three-quarters of all reports alleging child abuse are false. 
    Further expanding mandatory reporting means child abuse hotlines will be deluged
    with even more  false reports, further overloading workers who then will have
    less time to find children in real danger.

     
    And tens of thousands of
    children who were never abused will be traumatized by the investigation itself –
    which often includes a stripsearch looking for bruises.  The medical exam
    required in cases of sexual abuse is even more traumatic.
     
    There are 18
    states that already require everyone to report and there is no evidence children
    are any safer in those states.  As is so often the case with our efforts to
    fight child abuse, this solution has nothing to do with actually helping
    children and everything to do with making the adults feel better about a heinous
    crime.  Details are on our Child Welfare Blog here: http://is.gd/klIkEC

     
    Richard Wexler
    Executive Director
    National Coalition for Child
    Protection Reform
    http://www.nccpr.org
     

  • Anonymous

    Requiring anyone and everyone to report anything and everything only guarantees
    that *more* children will be hurt.  Most cases are far more ambiguous than a man
    allegedly caught in the act of raping a child in the shower.  Nationwide, even
    now, more than three-quarters of all reports alleging child abuse are false. 
    Further expanding mandatory reporting means child abuse hotlines will be deluged
    with even more  false reports, further overloading workers who then will have
    less time to find children in real danger.

     
    And tens of thousands of
    children who were never abused will be traumatized by the investigation itself –
    which often includes a stripsearch looking for bruises.  The medical exam
    required in cases of sexual abuse is even more traumatic.
     
    There are 18
    states that already require everyone to report and there is no evidence children
    are any safer in those states.  As is so often the case with our efforts to
    fight child abuse, this solution has nothing to do with actually helping
    children and everything to do with making the adults feel better about a heinous
    crime.  Details are on our Child Welfare Blog here: http://is.gd/klIkEC

     
    Richard Wexler
    Executive Director
    National Coalition for Child
    Protection Reform
    http://www.nccpr.org
     

  • Anonymous

    Requiring anyone and everyone to report anything and everything only guarantees
    that *more* children will be hurt.  Most cases are far more ambiguous than a man
    allegedly caught in the act of raping a child in the shower.  Nationwide, even
    now, more than three-quarters of all reports alleging child abuse are false. 
    Further expanding mandatory reporting means child abuse hotlines will be deluged
    with even more  false reports, further overloading workers who then will have
    less time to find children in real danger.

     
    And tens of thousands of
    children who were never abused will be traumatized by the investigation itself –
    which often includes a stripsearch looking for bruises.  The medical exam
    required in cases of sexual abuse is even more traumatic.
     
    There are 18
    states that already require everyone to report and there is no evidence children
    are any safer in those states.  As is so often the case with our efforts to
    fight child abuse, this solution has nothing to do with actually helping
    children and everything to do with making the adults feel better about a heinous
    crime.  Details are on our Child Welfare Blog here: http://is.gd/klIkEC

     
    Richard Wexler
    Executive Director
    National Coalition for Child
    Protection Reform
    http://www.nccpr.org
     

  • Anonymous

    Requiring anyone and
    everyone to report anything and everything only guarantees that *more* children
    will be hurt.  Most cases are far more
    ambiguous than a man allegedly caught in the act of raping a child in the shower.  Nationwide, even now, more than
    three-quarters of all reports alleging child abuse are false.  Further expanding mandatory reporting means
    child abuse hotlines will be deluged with even more  false reports, further overloading workers
    who then will have less time to find children in real danger.

     

    And tens of thousands of
    children who were never abused will be traumatized by the investigation itself
    – which often includes a stripsearch looking for bruises.  The medical exam required in cases of sexual
    abuse is even more traumatic.

     

    There are 18 states that
    already require everyone to report and there is no evidence children are any
    safer in those states.  As is so often
    the case with our efforts to fight child abuse, this solution has nothing to do
    with actually helping children and everything to do with making the adults feel
    better about a heinous crime.  Details
    are on the NCCPR Child Welfare Blog, which can be found with a Google search,
    since trying to post the actual link appears to have stopped an earlier version
    of this comment from appearing.

     

    Richard Wexler

    Executive Director

    National Coalition for
    Child Protection Reform

  • Anonymous

    Requiring anyone and
    everyone to report anything and everything only guarantees that *more* children
    will be hurt.  Most cases are far more
    ambiguous than a man allegedly caught in the act of raping a child in the shower.  Nationwide, even now, more than
    three-quarters of all reports alleging child abuse are false.  Further expanding mandatory reporting means
    child abuse hotlines will be deluged with even more  false reports, further overloading workers
    who then will have less time to find children in real danger.

     

    And tens of thousands of
    children who were never abused will be traumatized by the investigation itself
    – which often includes a stripsearch looking for bruises.  The medical exam required in cases of sexual
    abuse is even more traumatic.

     

    There are 18 states that
    already require everyone to report and there is no evidence children are any
    safer in those states.  As is so often
    the case with our efforts to fight child abuse, this solution has nothing to do
    with actually helping children and everything to do with making the adults feel
    better about a heinous crime.  Details
    are on the NCCPR Child Welfare Blog, which can be found with a Google search,
    since trying to post the actual link appears to have stopped an earlier version
    of this comment from appearing.

     

    Richard Wexler

    Executive Director

    National Coalition for
    Child Protection Reform

  • Anonymous

    Requiring anyone and
    everyone to report anything and everything only guarantees that *more* children
    will be hurt.  Most cases are far more
    ambiguous than a man allegedly caught in the act of raping a child in the shower.  Nationwide, even now, more than
    three-quarters of all reports alleging child abuse are false.  Further expanding mandatory reporting means
    child abuse hotlines will be deluged with even more  false reports, further overloading workers
    who then will have less time to find children in real danger.

     

    And tens of thousands of
    children who were never abused will be traumatized by the investigation itself
    – which often includes a stripsearch looking for bruises.  The medical exam required in cases of sexual
    abuse is even more traumatic.

     

    There are 18 states that
    already require everyone to report and there is no evidence children are any
    safer in those states.  As is so often
    the case with our efforts to fight child abuse, this solution has nothing to do
    with actually helping children and everything to do with making the adults feel
    better about a heinous crime.  Details
    are on the NCCPR Child Welfare Blog, which can be found with a Google search,
    since trying to post the actual link appears to have stopped an earlier version
    of this comment from appearing.

     

    Richard Wexler

    Executive Director

    National Coalition for
    Child Protection Reform

  • Anonymous

    Excellent article Marci, excellent.

    There must be mandatory reporting laws on childhood sexual abuse and there must be no exceptions.  As a society we have to acknowledge the epidemic that childhood sexual abuse is in this country. 

    I am not aware of even one religious denomination, institution, sect, temple or cult that has escaped the plague of childhood sexual abuse or the coverups that accompany it by so many leaders who have put an institution’s welfare and reputation before the safety and well being of children.

    The abuse of power and authority together with an unbelievable absence of accountability and transparency at the highest levels of such institutions is well beyond the pale.

    No exceptions.  The children must come first. 

    Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
    Advocate for Victims & Legislative Reform
    Pennsylvania & Delaware

    Justice4PaKids (dot) com
    AbolishSexAbuse (dot) org
    Catholics4Change (dot) org
    ChildVictimsVoice (dot) com
    VOTF (dot) org
    VOTFGP (dot) org
    NSACoalition (dot) org

  • Anonymous

    Excellent article Marci, excellent.

    There must be mandatory reporting laws on childhood sexual abuse and there must be no exceptions.  As a society we have to acknowledge the epidemic that childhood sexual abuse is in this country. 

    I am not aware of even one religious denomination, institution, sect, temple or cult that has escaped the plague of childhood sexual abuse or the coverups that accompany it by so many leaders who have put an institution’s welfare and reputation before the safety and well being of children.

    The abuse of power and authority together with an unbelievable absence of accountability and transparency at the highest levels of such institutions is well beyond the pale.

    No exceptions.  The children must come first. 

    Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
    Advocate for Victims & Legislative Reform
    Pennsylvania & Delaware

    Justice4PaKids (dot) com
    AbolishSexAbuse (dot) org
    Catholics4Change (dot) org
    ChildVictimsVoice (dot) com
    VOTF (dot) org
    VOTFGP (dot) org
    NSACoalition (dot) org

  • Anonymous

    Excellent article Marci, excellent.

    There must be mandatory reporting laws on childhood sexual abuse and there must be no exceptions.  As a society we have to acknowledge the epidemic that childhood sexual abuse is in this country. 

    I am not aware of even one religious denomination, institution, sect, temple or cult that has escaped the plague of childhood sexual abuse or the coverups that accompany it by so many leaders who have put an institution’s welfare and reputation before the safety and well being of children.

    The abuse of power and authority together with an unbelievable absence of accountability and transparency at the highest levels of such institutions is well beyond the pale.

    No exceptions.  The children must come first. 

    Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
    Advocate for Victims & Legislative Reform
    Pennsylvania & Delaware

    Justice4PaKids (dot) com
    AbolishSexAbuse (dot) org
    Catholics4Change (dot) org
    ChildVictimsVoice (dot) com
    VOTF (dot) org
    VOTFGP (dot) org
    NSACoalition (dot) org

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  • http://www.facebook.com/elias.r.sanchez Elias R Sanchez

    My daughter Aarika was a victim of CHP LT. John Swaim in 1992-1994 and in 1995 he was acquitted of all wrong doing even though you had a child that knew as much about sex if not more than the jurors themself.Now 16 years later he has been arraigned on 11/17/2011 for sexual abuse of 2 more young girls,and since the begining of the investigation now they are 7 victims in total.This must stop we have started a movement called Aarika’sLaw, we want it to be a felony for (failer to report) for all responsible adult.Please support us at http://www.facebook.com/AarikasLaw and http://www.AarikasLaw.org together we can PASS this LAW.Enough is Enough,I’m tried of hearing these horrible cases.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elias.r.sanchez Elias R Sanchez

    My daughter Aarika accused CHP Lt. John Swaim of molesting her in 1992-1994 and in 1995 he was acquitted of all wrong doing even though you had a child that knew as much about sex if not more than the jurors them selfs.Now 16 years later again he is being accused of sexual abuse of 2 young girls,since the begining of the investigation now they are 7 victims in total.He was arraigned on 11/17/2011,now my daughter and I have started a movement called Aaika’sLaw which will make it a felony for any responsible adult that (fails to report)sexual molestation.We are tried of hearing these horrible cases one after another.Aarika was victim number 5 we think if not higher of John Swaim.Please support us at http://www.facebook.com/AarikasLaw and http://www.AarikasLaw.org togehter we can PASS this LAW to protect CHILDREN. We must get rid of these PEDOPHINE”S safe havens.Anyone found guilty of protecting a PEDOPHINE will have to register as a PEDOPHINE PROTECTER under Megan’sLaw,you must and you will report these allegations with Aarika’sLaw.What reason or excuse can you use to not report these allegations this person justed destroyed a childs life and you are going to let him go free to destroy another childs and his families lifes,(their’s no excuse).You will register as a PEDOPHINE PROTECTER under Aarika’sLaw.

 

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