Important Bill on Child Sex Abuse Introduced to PA Senate


Important bill relating to child sex abuse was introduced to Pennsylvania Senate. Click here to read press release.

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60 Responses to “Important Bill on Child Sex Abuse Introduced to PA Senate”

  1. I got tears in my eyes on this one. I hope this protects alot of kids.

  2. I am emailing the Senator’s office in support of this. This is fantastic.

  3. Writing to your Senator’s office too! Wonderful news!!!!

    Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to bring this forth.

  4. Huge debt of gratitude to everyone that worked so hard and made this happen. Please take a bow. Thank you very much.

  5. Rick Santorum is not a PA state Senator but as a Presidential candidate from PA I would like to know his view on this; it would help me decide about voting for/against him in the upcoming FL primary.

    • Rick Santorum is the best friend the bishops ever had.

      • I agree Mark. Rick Santorum was the first politician I went to for help when I became an advocate for clergy sex assault victims following the attempted murder of my son. Santorum and his entire office were absolutely useless. I still have my letters and his staff’s responses.

        PA politicians and catholic church hierachy have made an industry out of clergy sex abuse and covering up the crimes. I applaud the senator’s efforts but will continue fighting for the rights of children wronged until the bill is passed and well beyond.

        Mike Ference

      • Santorum is a devout Catholic and loyal follower of the magisterium on the sex related issues; the Gospel injunction on “whatever you do to the least of these” not so much.

    • Santorum’s view is that the sexual abuse crisis is the result of a liberal moral culture. He would agree with the incorrect and erroneous results of the John Jay Report. Survivors booed him in Boston, recently, on the 10 anniversary of the crisis. He is the bishops’ Golden Boy. (Not that Gingrich isn’t one too.)

      http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2012/01/santorum-uber-catholic-survivors-of.html

      • Thanks hadit for the info and link. I never found anything on Santorum’s views on the crisis before. This is indeed a “hairy” situation IMO. Now I have some idea where he would stand on the SOL if it were put to him. :-/

      • Dittos Mark, Mike, and Martin!

      • Richard Santorum is a neocon and a warmonger. If he is elected president, he will send your sons and daughters to war in the middle east to fight for the interests of others. Santorum traveled in 2002 to Rome to speak at a centenary celebration of the birth of Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei. He was invested as a Knight of Magistral Grace of the Knights of Malta in a ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on November 12, 2004. He has made himself part of the elite, and he really believes that he is; he is a fast talker, and his primary job is to trick you, so that you will vote for him so that he can do the work of his masters.

  6. S. Reid Warren, III Reply January 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    I’m a little slow on the technology uptake. I just discovered that some among us have websites or blogs and that by double clicking on their names we can open them. Imagine my surprise and disgust when I went on one fellow’s site and read: EX CATHOLIC SAVED BY GRACE and the the following quotes: Rev. 17:3-4 – And a woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup n ther hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. And I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast full of names of blasphemy and having 7 heads and 10 horns. How can one of us be empathetic toward the plight of the children of rape and so denigrating toward women. Isn’t fornication a two way street? “He who is wirhout sin should cast the first stone. I read that some place.

    Reid

    • Well at least Bishop Zavala has corrected his situation, many are not permitted too[unless they runaway of course] especially having difficulty with their vows for years and bishops/religious superiors fully aware of it.
      Whose guilty of fornication then, it becomes a three way street my friend.

  7. Statre Senator Andrew Dinniman intorduced this bill yesterday, 1/19/2012 and it will take a few days to be referred to a Senate Committee. This legislations bill number is : SB 1392 and at introduction the
    co-sponsors are Seantors Boscola, Brewster, Costa, Eichelberger, Fontana, Rafferty and Williams. Being a co-sponsor all too often is just a nice item for “campaign proaganda” and all too often that is all the elected official does so it is important that all Senartors, including co-sponsors, are called, and written to asking that this bill be moved to the Senate floor for a vote by all Senators. Please, act today, not later!

    • Could we have the e mail addresses of the sponsors, please?

      • Think jjgables point is critical, just found the PA Senate’s e mail link
        So folks can contact state Senators.

        http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/member_information/email_list.cfm?body=S

      • I think timing of support for SB 1392 is critical. As in, right now.

        I just sent the following message (copy and paste same message into EACH senators e mail address listed above. I put the Bill number at the top of page …the whole operation took 20 minutes…you would want to write your own message, of course, but here’s mine:

        Please sponsor actively and support SB 1392.

        The bill will assist ALL PA victims of child sexual abuse, whether, incest, sodomy, rape or some other evil was involved.  Plaintiffs have the burden of proof, but in California when this ‘window’ was opened for one year, over 300 unknown predators were identified and out of a thousand suits, only 3 were found to be without merit.

        Thank you,

    • thanks sending emails along with a victim’s story.

    • I can tell you what would make a great story. An interview with the great Senator Jimmy Brewster on why he supports this legislation. Why the sudden change of heart? What happened in his life that makes him so concerned about helping clergy sex abuse victims?

      Mike Ference

      • Mike, I am not interested in why various Senators support this legislation. If some have had a change of heart …good. I support them supporting this legislation -if it helps victims and children that works for me. There are enough obstacles involved with having Bills passed to spend time passing judgement or questioning motives. Also doesn’t exactly draw more legislators to the cause if their motives are being questioned. This Bill being introduced is a very postive sign – I am choosing to focus on that. There will be a lot of work to be done in the next few months – I am not going to focus on the negative .

  8. Quite a coincidence both the Independant Catholic News and Cathnews Australia on the 18th January, announced the “Church to launch global initiatives to safeguard children and vulnerable adults”, then comes the Dinniman immediate media release.
    It appears Bishops and Religious Superiors from across the world will be gathering in Rome, an initiative supported by “several” Vatican Congregations.
    A pity that many of the vulnerable adults, including children abused decades ago [in Australia anyway] have signed confidentiality clauses, stymied from speaking out.
    Or maybe not.

  9. I hope Sen Dinniman is sincere and this is just not ‘window dressing’

    • Dinniman is very sincere -no window dressing thank God! Reps McGeehan and Bishop were also very sincere in their efforts of sponsoring Bills 832 and 878 -just couldn’t get past Marsico. This won’t be the case in the Senate so hopefully with Dinniman’s efforts -the process moves forward to hearing and votes in the near future. If the Bill passes in the Senate it then gets sent to the House. Having worked on this within the House for months, there is great support for SOL reform. Also as is the case with any Bill ,more co sponsors will sign on in the next few weeks -the Bill was just introduced a few days ago.

  10. Thanks Beth. It is great news and has nothing to do with Santorum – let’s try to stay focused on getting this Bill passed.

  11. I don’t know Kathy, I walked away after reading the mike ference comment and your response and someone having a change of heart is one thing, even if to your advantage, but I would certanly want to know if they had an agenda.
    Sounds like a political move to me.
    I’ve seen too many sleep with the devil I’m afraid, it doesn’t pay ultimately.

    • There are many things that have happened in Pa. recently that could have had someone have a change of heart for example the penn State child sex abuse crisis. Maybe this Senator began hearing from constituents that they wanted him to support child abuse legislation. Maybe all the articles about Penn State informed this Senator about the dynamics of child sex abuse. Maybe there are other reasons. All I know is a co sponsor signature is a Yes vote -that is all that matters to me . I will contact senators asking them to support this Bill but I will not spend time questioning Senators on WHY they support this Bill,to me wasted energy. If someone wants to do that ,that is certainly their right.

      • Actually Kathy, I would go a step further and strongly thank any legislator who was willing to sponsor SB 1392.

        I once spent a number of weeks working in our legislature to line up sponsors, it was a challenging task and what struck me at the time was that the number of reasons for sponsoring a bill were as varied as the individuals, themselves.

        I think gratitude is the way to go!

      • I agree Joan. Having worked on this issue for the past few months in Harrisburg,there are varied reasons that draw people to this issue -any issue. My goal is to have legislation passed that will help victims and children -not to examine the political world of the Pa.legislators. And I have always sent a thank you email to an office of a legislator that co- sponsored or offered support for Bills assisting victims and children.
        This reminds of the backlash against Fr Connell of Milawaukee. People on this site always say they want priests to do the right thing for victims -I agree. And when Fr Connell joined with victims, paid for a newspaper ad with his own money, accompanied victims to the state capitol to advocate for SOL reform and the victims and families he has worked alongside for over a year,spoke of him as a true supporter -people on this site still questioned his motives,some even calling him names. So sometimes I feel even when a person is doing the right thing -no one will be satisfied. Now legislators in Pa. getting behind better laws for victims and kids -I am not going to spend my time in the negative.

  12. No argument Kathy,

    I posted Father Connels work with Peter Isely on the Phiily priests website and sent Father Connell’s canon law defense of SOLs in Wisconsin to the AB.

  13. Don’t know how God works. I would not allow some political grudge to affect the chance of getting this bill passed. Don’t need some politician to send a link writing that Catholic4Change is writing bad things about another senator. Been spending too much time defending non-profits( not his one) in my area because of negative comments. Spent three quarters of one meeting dealing with hurt feelings Write to all and pray for those whose actions don’t support our goal. An ounce of honey will draw more flies than a pound of vinegar.

    • Ed, thank you .

    • Ed, I meant to thank you for your earlier posts….I haven’t seen ‘How a Bill Becomes a Law’ in eons and it was a good reminder of the process…I used to hand those fact sheets out in our state when recruiting legislative support!

      And I really liked the idea of including a victim’s story with your e mail to senators. Those victims stories are so compelling and shocking that that I think they bridge the ‘information gap’ that so many of us have relative to the reality of rape and sodomy of innocent children. I don’t doubt for a moment that thoughtful and decent legislators will learn a lot, a painful lot, with your stories.

      I was quite serious in my e mail to Kathy, I think gratitude to legislators and a positive approach is the way to go legislatively, and agree with you…honey is infinitely preferable to vinegar!

      I lobbied for a number of years on poverty issues in our legislature. My fellow lobbyists, Church, human services folks et al, both as a matter of conscience and preference always emphasized the positive. And we were not ineffective, in a legislature that certainly had some toxic elements.

      I think the guys we lobbied appreciated a polite and positive approach!

  14. Kathy, Joan and ed, I did all three yesterday, I also told him politicians prime ministers and others wouldn’t touch the issue with a ten foot pole in Australia, due to political correctness, and commeneded him for doing so, but at the end of the day, the ultimate proof of the pudding is in the tasting, and I hope you all wont be disappointed.
    If there were an email address available, I’d forward it to you, and the response which I’m sure I’ll receive.

  15. Just for the record, Senator Brewster’s district has been eliminated. He will no longer be a Senator after the new districts are in place. He district was eliminated because he is corrupt and worthless.

    Mike Ference

  16. Victims4Justice.org Reply January 22, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    I cannot and will not, in good conscience, support a two-year window to abolish the civil statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse to file suit against their perpetrators unless this bill is accompanied by another bill that removes the criminal statute of limitations on sexual abuse.

    A two-year window is a mere temporary fix, that once closed, will again allow for sexual abuse to go ignored and unpunished. In Delaware, the window was opened in July 2007 and gave victims until July 2009 to file suit. What happened to the victim who fought just as hard as any other victim only to not come forward until August 2009? His abuse didn’t count because he was too late. What about the countless other victims who have come forward in Delaware since that window was closed, several whom I know personally? How can I look them in the eye, knowing well that I filed a suit under that window, and yet, even though these victims have been talking about their own pain for years, they just weren’t talking to a lawyer, or they didn’t yet have the courage to come forward legally and/or publicly?

    If you think this type of criminal activity will seize to exist simply because victims were given an opportunity to come forward for a 2 year span, you need to think some more, or come sit in my living room and I’ll tell you a thing or two about a thing or two. Yes, I believe it will unveil many other unknown abusers, but if their victims can’t come forward for justice in years to come, how much good will this temporary fix have? As long as no serious penalties exist to punish perpatraors, and until children are educated in knowing what to do if someone tries to abuse them, this circle will just keep spinning around and around.

    I’d rather see laws implemented that would give children more rights. I’d rather see penalties for adults who fail to act upon the knowledge of a child being abused. I’d rather see our mental health field given more money and more tools to figure out what makes these guys (and women) tick. What makes an adult want to abuse a child? I know it’s not a very popular question to ask, especially coming from an abuse victim like myself, but if we had more information as to what propels these people to do what they do, maybe we’d have a fighting chance to protect the most innocent. The understanding in our criminal courts now is not so much to remove the guns, but to give vulnerable youths a sanctuary free from the streets, gangs, and drugs. Isn’t it about time we learn how to stop the person so we can in turn prevent the behavior?

    I know, I know… these people don’t just turn themselves in to have their brains studied, but if we could remove some of the taboo from the behavior and create more awareness about it, maybe we’d still have a fighting chance. Let’s face it, “lives depend on it.” The subject of sexual abuse isn’t taboo. It’s too frequent and common to be considered taboo, but the vast majority of people don’t want to look at it as possibile existence or something that could happen to their children because it’s a painful revelation. I understand that though process, but wishing and wanting it to not happen or to go away is hopeless. I know, I’ve asked John Jameson and company many times in the past. Even with bottles of their help, it couldn’t persaude my memories to just fade away. The publicity of more accounts of sexual abuse only enrage me further, and I wonder, “Who is going to stop this evil before it stops us?”

    Laws are made to persaude crimes, not prevent them. We have over 1.6 million nationwide inmates who will attest to that fact. Unless we can figure out a way to hunt down every known and unknown abuser and drop them straight off the face of the earth, isn’t it time we start developing a permanent solution?

    “If you abuse one child – Life in prison and you are forced to donate yourself to science! No deals with the DA for good behavior.”

    I never wanted to be the guy who could figure out what goes on in the mind of a child abuser, but lately I just don’t see any other logical position to stop the behavior that had occurred in my early life and has resulted in the chaos of my life and so many others. Too many others. There are no statute of limitations on murder. Do you think I’m living?

    • Rich, I understand,victims and society would rather see the perpetrators hauled off in handcuffs but since criminal statutes can’t be retroactive -we won’t see that in many cases. Interesting article in California about reopening the window -I am sure Joan will post the link. Specifically for the instance you reference about victims not coming forward during that 2 year time frame.
      I don’t think a two year window solves the problem. I think it does help in identifying perpetrators to the general public and exposing institutions that coverup for crimes against children. That I can feel is somewhat helpful. If one child is protected or one organization exposed as harboring pedophiles -then something has been accomplished. Look at all of the precautions/restrictions involved with the Wilmington diocese involving child protection as a result of the window legislation. I think you actually wrote something for the site about this. Another reason law enforcement supports window legislation is the hope that some criminal activity that falls within the statutes is exposed within civil suits and can be prosecuted.
      Mandatory reporting is another important issue. And those laws in Pa. are very weak .Money for agencies that deal with issues of child abuse -excellent point. Having worked in the social work field we do not allocate enough resources for programs and services for children.
      Very interesting point you bring up about researching why people offend and how to stop that . I was just involved in a conference call with some survivors and advocates and that was identified as an area that is so often overlooked.
      There are victims in Pa. who are working towards many laws, resources etc..for child protection and also for civil window legislation just as you were able to access in Delaware.

      • Kathy, there’s a case in the CA Supreme court right now relative to reopening SOLs and NCR has covered it a bit, but as a decision is not due for 90 days, I am not sure if that was your reference? I can get the NCR link if you would like?

        As to Rich’s many fine points, I too would like to understand the personal dynamics of molesters, and would love to see more financing for human services around these issues. I would very much like criminal prosecution of molesters and am particularly interested in laws relative to child endangerment…ie supervisors of predators criminally prosecuted if they did not immediately notify civil authority, or God forbid, knowingly passed on predators to other locations.

        I have special interest in those reporting requirements. They should not be misdemeanors, but rather felonies with serious jail time and a hefty fine!

        I am kind of an incrementalist, though. The CA window was only open for one year (Marci Hamilton has bemoaned this fact, very understandably), and yet 300 unknown abusers were identified. Is it the answer to abuse in CA, no ….is it better than not having the window opened…yes.

        Can we get everything in PA that we want legislatively or social science wise now, no. Can we work incrementally on all these issues…we must.

    • Rich ,think of Penn State and if those victims had been on the other side of the SOL’s -passed the time limits. Sandusky would still be running Second Mile with access to kids,the lack of action from PSU officials would never have been brought to light. If they were a group of victims that Sandusky abused in the 1980’s and they came forward -they would have been blocked both civil and criminal. And the Sandusky case also highlights the inadequacy of the mandatory reporting laws

      Rich have you ever heard of Chris Gavagan of “Coached into Silence” He is a survivor,around your age and exposing the abuse within children sports.

    • I am sorry for your suffering. I understand what you are saying as far as wanting justice for all victims and protection for all kids. Many times I have thought the same thing how can we stop this pedophiles. Why are they this way. They lack decency and compassion. How do you teach compassion and decency to someone that does not even think molesting a child is wrong? My husband;s offender knew that there was laws against this behavior but deep down did not see aything wrong with what he did and even talked about the boy man love assocation as if there was something wrong with societys thinking that this is wrong. Rich you have compassion and decency and I admire that especially after all you have been thru.I have noticed you have been quiet and again I am sorry for all you have been through. I know you are not religious but I was thinking today the church teaches how our body is the temple of the holy spirit so what these offenders do is an affront to God and if that is the case God help them when they die if they don;t repent they are going to hell.

  17. Victims4Justice.org Reply January 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I appreciate your thoughts, Kathy. My problem is the temporary fixes. A statute of limitations on anything is temporary. I am tired of hearing about sexual abuse stories on the news temporarily, until the next big story that sweeps across the national and local headlines. I hate seeing these stories because it leads me to depression. The Penn State scandal has affected me like no other news story, just like my own story, in ways I can’t explain. I’ve gone silent in recent months and I opened the door to so many memories I thought I was beginning to put away. I can’t think of anything worse than my own abuse, but then also finding out that while I’m fighting tooth and nail to prevent what happened to me, that not too far from where I am fighting a man is raping more young boys. I’m the last person to consider naive that this abuse is not a daily ritual perpetuated behind closed doors in secret, but to have it just jump out in the middle of the fight of my life, for my life and many others, has not been the easiest realization. If it were up to me, stories of abuse would be plastered all over the place. Kids would have to view a video on “grooming” before they could play a video game. The subject would be a required course to complete kindergarten, grade school, and high school. When it comes to this subject, I don’t think there’s such a thing as too much information.

    I should say that “I do” support the two-year window, but I plead with you and everyone else to fight for more – a total abolishment of the statute of limitations criminally and civilly. It cannot just be about money or prison, but both. When people are faced with prison for such crimes, they do the time and go back to their pretty much normal everyday lives. But if they are held accountable financially, we can assure they go back to nothing after prison. Besides, what exactly do we victims get to go back to after abuse? Give me money or don’t give me money, I still have the worst memories. I still struggle everyday for peace. I struggle knowing that my abusers were never punished.

    The Penn State scandal didn’t shock me by any means, it just took away a lot of hope. Just when I thought we were making some kind of impact, Jerry Sandusky managed to bury my voice. I don’t know where to go from here.

    I just know that we need to start implementing major changes in our legal system and in our society. It is more important to me to stop childhood sexual abuse than it is to fight for a window that would abolish the laws for 2 years so that I can file a lawsuit. Maybe we can expose previously unknown predators and institutions that protect them, but at the end of the day, children will still be abused. I’m also not naive enough to think we will eradicate the problem entirely, I’m just fishing for a solution that would give someone who is thinking about abusing a child the courage to seek help before they do.

    I think child abusers are generally evil. Maybe there’s no cure for evil, but I watched a show on MSNBC last week about child abusers in prison. For the first time, I actually saw a man who was incarcerated for abusing several of his nieces and nephews and he did seem regretful and sorry for his crimes. Unlike so many abusers I’ve seen in the past who only seem sorry because they were caught and sent to prison, this guy seemed to connect with how his victims may feel. Maybe that’s the “groomable” side of me coming out, as we victims sometimes identify with our abusers because they were able to control us and brainwash us, but I did still wonder if this guy was evil. I think what he did was evil and I think he should be punished, and a big part of me would love to be the man personally responsible for dropping his butt off the face of the earth, but the reasoning part of my being wants to figure out why this guy did what he did in order to learn from it and prevent it in the future.

    I’m not saying I care for these guys or what happens to them, because truthfully I don’t. I’m not looking to cure the uncureable. I’m only interested in getting them away and keeping them away from kids. Using one them to help expose another sounds good to me.

    Oh well… I haven’t been writing much at all in the past few months. Like I said, the Penn State scandal really threw me for a loop. I stopped talking to other victims within my support network, and I haven’t paid much attention to this forum or my own. So much of the Jerry Sandusky Grand Jury Report was uncannily similar to my own experiences in childhood. I was getting better at being a more stable person, but then Jerry came along and punched me in the gut.

  18. Folks- Maureen Martinez here from Justice4pakids. Please follow our site. If you are interested in keeping up to date with weekly conference calls for legislative updates please email me at:
    info@justice4pakids.com
    The reason I say ll this is because much of your discussions here are talked about in our conference calls. Myself and the other co-founder of Justice4pakids -Bob Riley- we both sat down with Senator Dinniman on Dec 23 and urged him to introduce a senate bill comparable to 878 on the house side since senate side did not have this. In less then a month with holidays in between he wrote a bill and has gotten several co sponsors. The co-sponsorship of Rafferty is good as he makes a run for AG. The key co sponsorship is Greenleaf. I say this bc he is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and this bill will run through his committee first. There are a lot of amendments and language changes a bill can go through to iron out some of the issues brought forth on this site-in the end of the day it may not be EXACTLY how we all want it- but something is better than nothing. If you live in Greenleaf’s district I URGE YOU TO EMAIL HIM, hearing from his own constituents can HELP.

    Look, the bottomline is there are MANY laws that need reform in PA for better protection of children. A window legislation bill will help protect MORE but not ALL. The simple matter is we need to REDUCE the number of kids getting abused. SOL reform will help REDUCE and many other bills that are being worked on by other groups in PA will help reduce. You can say it is temporary but here’s my fundamental belief: We are suppose to live in a nation of freedom. A victim that is beyond his/her SOL does not EVEN HAVE THE FREEDOM TO PUBLICLY STATE WHO ABUSED HIM/HER. The court room doors re SHUT in their faces-literally–folks- this is NOT FREEDOM. This is NOT JUSTICE. SOL reform is about allowing ANY victim to seek justice. Whether they win money or not- whether other predators are identified or not- these are simply a bonus. SOL reform is about what our great nation stands for- freedom, justice, isn’t this suppose to be the American way? It is up to the victim to decide IF they want to seek that justice and the burden of proof on their shoulders. MANY will choose not to go down the path of hiring an attorney and going to court
    BUT THAT CHOICE IS AT LEAST THEIR’S– DON’T WE AS PEOPLE , One nation- under God, with liberty and JUSTICE FOR FREAKING ALL– Don’t we AT LEAST OWE IT TO A VICTIM to have that choice????

    • Maureen if Greanleaf is the SB 1392 sponsor, and you want folks in his district to e mail him or maybe even better phone him, how about his phone number, and e mail address(and those boundaries)

      Would you want folks to contact other members on his committee as well, they will need contact info.

  19. Also- I would like to add this- Rich your ideas re spot on re: kids should watch an educational video about grooming in stead of playing video games. Sex abuse is a taboo topic similar to AIDS in the 70’s or Breast Cancer in the 60’s and look at those issues now. Talked about, RandD funds to create better drugs and therapies for people to live longer and better quality of life if afflicted with either condition. SO MUCH on a proactive/educational stand point needs to be done with sex abuse. Kids educated on grooming YES. Adults taught what to look for in signs and symptoms in children if they suspect. NOT THE DANGER STRANGER message as 90% of abuse is someone the child knows, not the boogy man jumping out from tree and grabbing the child away. AND AT THE HEART of it is:
    HOW DO YOU GET INSIDE THE MIND OF AN ALMOST PEDOPHILE TO REWIRE THEIR BRAIN BEFORE THEY ABUSE??? I have a son with Asperger’s and have done an enormous amount of research re: autism. Research shows early intervention- the earlier the better– can drastically improve and actually rewire certain things. And so I wonder- what if the NIH was able to get a grant- a federal grant- and study people that could be suceptible to becoming a pedophile (we do know that many pedophiles were abused themselves). I would like to see more studies on the links of child porn to sex abuse. In other words, a person watched child porn and over time now wants to be living out that fantasy and therefore starts abusing. Things like that- a think tank to figure all this out. This whole subject needs to be PROACTIVE instead of being reactive all the time.

  20. As far as we as Catholics are concerned worldwide, how do we get our head around the fact that most clergy abusers are not remorseful, whose attributes are grandiosity and narcissism. {Archbishop Diarmuid Martin April 2011}.
    I know you are fighting for ALL children, but with far reaching Canon Law {affecting all religious} such as it is, clergy are not liable to the extent of Bills and legislations, and what about Diplomatic Immunity claimed many times over.
    There’s a bigger picture here that seems to forgotten.

    • One of the bigger pictures that needs to be explored is the institutional cover up of child sexual abuse. By institutional I mean institutions like the Catholic Church, Penn State and Syracuse, but I would also include the institution called the family.

    • The problem has been when crimes don’t fall within the statutes and then are handled by the Church -review boards,issues of canon law etc.. When crimes fall within the statutes ,clergy are arrested and go to trial just like any other citizen -as we see with the upcoming trials in Philadelphia.

  21. Folks– here is an update on Senate Bill 1392 which Dinniman has introduced. On Jan 20 Stuart Greenleaf sign on as a co sponsor. The Senator Pro Tem has NOT assigned the bill to any senate committee yet. Hopefully by weeks end it will be assigned. Nothing has been stalled, it is just a matter of many bills in front of Senator Pro Tea, taking the time to read them all and assign them to correct committees in the order that they all came into his office. There is strong feelings from insiders that 1392 will be assigned to Greenleaf. FOR NOW, Here is what I would do with Greenleaf- simply THANK HIM for co sponsoring the bill. We will have to wait till this bill is officially in his committee or any other committee and then we can start emailing the members of that committee for support of the bill. LET’S ALL SAY THANKS to Greenleaf and that’s it for now. When it is time to email the senators on the assigned committee, check back at Justice4pakids website and there will be a sample email letter for you to send.

    • Maureen, thank you for the update.

      Thought I would add Senator Greeleaf’s e mail address to help folks with the thank you process!

      sgreenleaf@pasen.gov

      • Maureen, I just sent this letter to Senator Greenleaf

        Senator Greenleaf, I really want to thank you for your efforts on behalf of SB 1932.
        Many of us have been very frustrated by the lack of movement of a similar bill in the other chamber.

        Victims of sexual molestation need to be able to identify the perpetrator, seek civil justice if they wish, and hopefully heal…

        Experts in the field all say the same thing…it often takes a very long time for victims to come forward. Many don’t, some commit suicide, they need to come forward to deal with the issue to begin healing.

        Your support of this legislation may well be life saving for some victims and will help protect innocent children who might well be abused if unknown predators are identified in the civil process!  Thank you so much!

  22. this is a great letter Joan– and I thank you! Everyone copy Joan’s:)

  23. THANK YOU, Joan for Senator Stuart Greenleaf’s email address. I just sent my gratitude for his co-signature on the removal of the statute of limitations from all crimes of sexual abuse.

  24. You are very welcome Theresa. While Maureen was encouraging folks to use my letter, I would suggest that your own personal thoughts might well be better. I spent some time in a legislators office in our Capitol and know that form stuf is better than no stuff, but personal thoughts are the best of all!.

    • I know the focus of attention is on the Lynn pretrial hearing, but I came across a quote by ex legislator about the importance of personal e mails etc in getting the attention of legislators and thought I d paste it here.

      The first comment ….was from former Missouri state senator and representative.

      “It only took a small number of people, a few dozen, to get our attention in Jefferson City,” Dougherty told us. “Your phone call, email and your letter matter,” he said. These actions can have an effect on policy at the state level of government.

  25. Anyone who has not already done so, PLEASE SIGN the petition to abolish the statute of limitations listed on this blog, and ask your family and friends to also sign. Thank you!

  26. Joan, Maureen, rember one letter I sent in the 70’s. Was relieved for my ministry for a time, but it was effective. Was allowed back after the abuse was investigated – not sexual Sorry I am brain damaged myself, stroke in my 40s like my father. Know a little about rewiring – brain stem stroke – affected breathing and swallowing – had to relearn much like walking Worked with emotional challanged and brain injured children and adults and did notice a a difference in those who raped and those who molest children. Not very knowledgable in those areas and won’t get involved with my observations on this blog. Yes, I was a religious who did live with a few convicted priests/brothers. Come to this site to stimulate my memory – then email bishopaccountability with any memories that may be important. Also, only made through 9th grade(public after that – 60’s) – kept asking why and the Marist in Penndel and the nuns in grade school hated that. Have a learning disability(pre stroke) like my three children – two aspergers so I never could understand the RCC mentality – thought is was a brain dysfunction. Maureen, all three of my children have two year degrees and are working on their four year degree. Early intervention was great, besides I worked with special needs and autistic kids. Now it seems that there are arguments what contitutes Autism/asperges. Can even get therapy for my adult kids – my insurance does pay enough for the therapist. Heard that problem so many times and wonder along with other therapist – how many children are victims of sexual assualt and can’t get therapy because of insurance. Hard enough getting children to discuss this issue and the needs of the parent to protect thier kids for the techniques used by defense lawyers.

    My kids weren’t victims, but there are too many children and adults suffering that are. Also, many spouses and victims that will never get a good night sleep and practice chasity better than many priests.The simple act such as touching can bring on a flaskback Again, many can not get professional help from their insurance and depend on the many good people on this site and other sources for support.

    Sorry, a little off topic.

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