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Everything We Believe
We believe that no one should get away with hurting a child like this. But right now, all too many people and institutions get away with it. If you tried to speak up as a child, be it to another teacher, a family member, someone you trusted, and if you were confused when you learned that the abuse would not be seen or heard, that you would not be understood, and that nothing would be done, please understand that now it may be different. Now, you may be able to truly do something about it.
Let us be clear: You were not, are not, to blame. Widespread child sexual abuse occurs because of sexual predators, and it continues because those predators are supported, be it through negligence, downright avoidance, denial or reputation-preservation, in place of protection of the child.
The Universe It Took
Institutions and their supervisors often know when children are sexually abused. There are hints and clues that they avoid, many times followed by reports from those who saw something suspicious. People know.
It’s at that critical point, where they can choose, as adults, to do something, to stand up for the children who require their protection. Or to do the opposite, to hurt the children even more, by showing them that they didn’t care, that their own reputation was more important.
It is sickening to learn about the repeated sexual abuse and cover-ups within the walls of the Catholic Church and private schools across the country, many of which occurred for decades, not just years. Make no mistake that it took a village to keep those stories quiet. And that was wrong. By hiding the abuse and failing to address it, by keeping quiet instead of taking action, they allowed even more children to be abused in the process.