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5 | January | 2012 | REnotated

Day 8:00 pm

  • Facing Reality: Doing More to Protect Children from Pedophiles

    As the initial disbelief and outrage over the accusations against Jerry Sandusky give way to high-profile court cases, there is an uncomfortable truth that continues to remain below the surface – we are simply not doing enough to protect children from pedophiles.  Although the scandal in the Catholic Church elevated the topic of sexual abuse in the public conscience, the reality of pedophiles remains something many people would prefer not to think about too closely.  The current scandal involving Sandusky has refocused our attention on the issue, but it may do little to diminish the overall prevalence of sexual abuse unless we face the problem more directly and with a lasting commitment.  What is needed is a complete transformation in the way we as a society think about and take action against the sexual abuse of children.

    Given that approximately one in four women and one in seven men were sexually abused as children and that children today are facing these same startling statistics, we are clearly not doing enough to stop pedophiles.  There are over half a million registered sex offenders in the US and the majority of these have sexually molested children.  These are known offenders.  It is estimated, however, that there are millions more who continue to specifically target children with impunity.  It sounds alarmist, but unfortunately the number of victims, who often remain silent out of shame and fear, sadly supports these estimates.  This isn’t simply an institutional problem of the Catholic Church or Penn State University; it is a pervasive social problem in America and throughout the world. (more…)

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