Blaming the Victim   Leave a comment


Trigger Warnings: Child Abuse, Sexual Assault

One of the reasons I left the Catholic Church was it seems to have surrendered (or never earned) its title as defender of the poor and marginalized. There are few examples better than the failure to protect victims of abuse. Shortly after I decided to leave the Catholic Church, I read an article written by Archbishop Timothy Dolan in which he quoted “Catholic League” director Bill Donohue. In that piece, Donohue essentially lied (by misrepresenting sworn testimony) about SNAP, a sexual abuse advocacy group. There is something profoundly wrong with a Catholic Archbishop quoting a lie from someone going after an advocacy group.

Anyway, Donohue is still going after victims. Read here to see the “Catholic League” call for accusers to have their names released to the public.

This is heinous and vile. The article alleges 173 false accusations over the past three years. I highly doubt the accuracy of that number (mostly because I do not trust the source), but even if it’s true, I would hazard a guess that more than 173 children have been abused in the past three years. By threatening to expose the identities of victims, the “Catholic League” is making it that much harder for them to seek help. Let me be entirely clear. The “Catholic League” is aiding abusers. They are complicit in the persecution that takes place whenever a victim tries to come forward.

I am not unsympathetic to people who suffer under false accusations. But when those accusations are proven false, the accused can usually move on. There’s this fantastical trope in our society that one accusation ends everything. That’s why Kobe Bryant ended his basketball career in 2003. That’s why you don’t hear from Julian Assange anymore. I mean, it’s not as if rape and sexual assault are highly under reported. Or that false accusations are actually proportionately¬†rare. Right?

I happen to be of the opinion that getting raped is worse than being investigated and having your reputation damaged. 173 false accusations seems like a better deal than countless unreported incidents of abuse. But maybe that’s just me.

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