Re: “About 90K sex abuse claims filed in Boy Scouts bankruptcy” [Nov. 16, Nation]:
I am weary of reports that substantiate a wave of sexual abuse cases in institutions in which we place our trust, money and children such as the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church. My stomach turned as I read about the thousands of abuse claims filed by former Boy Scouts.
I am weary over the systemic secrecy, cover-ups and the choice made by institutions to protect themselves over the precious lives of children. Bishops and priests take vows to live celibate lives, and Scout leaders take an oath “ … to help other people at all times.” Raping and sexually violating children and teens is not a help. It is a hindrance. Scars remain a lifetime. They may diminish, but they are always in the shadows.
It’s time for leaders to say, “No more, not under my watch will one more child be harmed. No more will I hide or destroy helpful records needed to prosecute and put criminals of rape and violence behind bars.” It remains so wrong that positive change and justice is mostly due to the bravery of survivors as is shown in the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America. Let’s change this!
Mary Dispenza, Bellevue, survivor of clergy abuse