Laing, in a poem entitled Young Girl, tells the story of a female child who is being sexually abused by a pastor. The traumatised child is forced to face her abuser each Sunday at church while the congregation, and even the child's mother, turns a blind eye to his crimes.
“The public response has been accentuated on account of the rate of child abuse in our country and the very early sexual initiation of many of our youth. This is a major concern for the church as well.”
The problem of child sexual abuse is an endemic in Jamaica. And it has been for a long time. It is just that we are more sensitive about, and morally outraged by, this issue than previous generations.
Nevertheless, accepting human imperfections and failings is not an excuse for the kinds of wicked penetrative invasion or transactional relationships some of these men (and women) are foisting on our vulnerable and innocent children. Besides the serious criminal breach, there is a lasting desecration of these children’s ambition, body and promise — it is a defilement that no amount of therapy or passage of time may ever cure. Pastors or not, we cannot allow gaps in our personal economies to lull us (parents or guardians) into complacency or cause us to conjure convenient sorry-ass explanations as conduits to assist us with wriggling our way out of taking responsibility for sanctioning such terrible deeds — inadvertently or not, or on the basis of financial opportunity.
The issue is child sexual abuse and the existing statute of limitations that prevents victims from taking civil action against the perpetrator or an institution.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold a final, three-week hearing next month attempting to establish how widespread this abuse is and what cultural issues allowed it to occur.
Catholic leaders across Australia have welcomed a letter from the Pope saying the church “weeps bitterly” over the sexual abuse of children by priests, ahead of a final royal commission investigation into how these crimes could occur.
[The traditional Cardinal Newman College of Argentina is in the midst of a controversy with a report of sexual abuse that was allegedly suffered by a former student of the institution in the late 1970s. The case involves Father Finnlugh MacConastair, known as Father Alfredo, the Irish chaplain of the college in those years. According to reports Rufino Varela, now 52, married and with two children, said the priest abused him in 1977 at school. Varela told La Nación newspaper that he had been a victim of abuse by his landlord from the age of four. And one day, when he was 12 and was in seventh grade, he approached MacConastair in confessional secrecy to tell him what was wrong: the priest not only did not stop the abuser but he took the boy to his room and abused him. When he was in third year of high school, he told another of the religious, Desmond Finegan what had happened and told him that he had to forgive MacConastair because he was old.]
Henry A. Eichman, 56, now of New Gloucester, was indicted by the Sagadahoc County grand jury in December on 16 counts, including seven counts of Class B felony unlawful sexual contact, three counts of Class C felony visual sexual aggression against a child under 12, and six misdemeanor counts of unlawful sexual touching, according to court documents.
Roger Herft announced he was retiring last month, after previously standing aside to hear evidence at the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.
Two victims’ support groups and a lawyer who has represented more than 2,000 survivors worldwide denounced church officials for doing too little to help those who were abused and to protect children from harm, despite ongoing revelations about the scope of the crisis.
Four people have filed lawsuits against the LDS Church, accusing it of not doing enough to stop the abuse they allege they suffered while in the church-run "Lamanite Placement Program" or "Indian Placement Program." As children, the plaintiffs (who are only identified by initials in court documents) claim they were taken from their homes on the Navajo reservation, baptized into the Mormon faith and placed in host homes in Utah where the alleged abuse occurred.
"We believe we have a right to question President Monson about how he was briefed, what he learned about child sex abuse and what was done to protect kids in the future," Craig Vernon, an attorney for the plaintiffs, told FOX 13 on Thursday.