Institutional Accountability and Real Prevention – News Updates:

The nationwide inquiry in Australia has concluded that when institutions let child sexual abuse happen, that should be a crime.

“We need to move from an understanding of institutions as merely places where child sexual abuse may occur to places where the institution itself is conducive to crime. And if institutions or organisations are directly or indirectly responsible for criminal behaviour such as child sexual assault, the law should hold them to account.”

Martin Guggenheim — law professor and nationally recognized expert in the field of children and law — pointed directly at the very issue many governments and legislatures are now realizing when he said at the NYU panel on child abuse: “Why isn’t a school’s commitment to the well being of its children something we demand? Why isn’t it a tort for a Board of a school to lie to an alumnus about past behavior? Who is worse? I think the denier.” Oct 21st, 2014:

Now, the nationwide inquiry in Australia has concluded that when institutions let child sexual abuse happen, that should be a crime. In addition, the national inquiry in the UK is likely to underscore the same issue: Institutional accountability. Coming to a legislature near you.


Victoria has now abolished limitation periods within which to sue for injury arising out of child abuse.

Premier Denis Napthine:  “We as a government are committed to ensuring organisations cannot hide behind statutory time limits in order to avoid the liability they have for harm they have caused to victims of child abuse,” Dr. Napthine told reporters on Thursday.

The government has already created offences for people who fail to report suspected child sexual abuse, as well as for people holding a position of responsibility who fail to protect a child when they know someone in their organisation poses a risk.”

Removing the incentive organizations used to stall or cover up reports is a giant step:


UK opens child abuse inquiry with broad powers

“We must put difficult questions to politicians, bishops and other faith leaders, headteachers, police officers, regulators, inspectors and public officials of all kinds. And we will carry on putting those questions until we get answers.

“Too many individuals and institutions” have been “sheltered from accountability through patterns of indifference or obstruction”, she added: “It is a stark reality that some abusers have abused their positions of trust within institutions as a means of gaining unfettered access to children.”

The inquiry provides an opportunity to “expose past failures of institutions to protect children” and to “confront those responsible”, she added.


Heads of school are obligated to report abuse to authorities (and parents)

Connecticut law requires school staff and officials to report allegations of abuse, neglect and endangerment to either law enforcement or the state Department of Children and Families within 12 hours of learning of the allegations. State law also requires that parents be notified of such allegations and investigations.


Ending the venue loophole for student abuse on trips

“It is troubling to think that a teacher responsible for the care of young adults can sexually assault them on a school trip abroad and not be subject to prosecution in our state,” the court said. “That outcome, though, is driven by existing statutory law, which requires that conduct that is an element of the offense occur here.”


Church continues to stall on help for survivors

“I’ve been routinely brushed off by the powers that be at Bergen Catholic.  I’ve been ridiculed, my claims have been declared not viable, and all together I think these people are trying to sweep something under the rug.”


Ending deceit and denial about clergy sexual abuse cases

It is inconceivable that any bishop would stand before a congregation and give them the following instructions:

The scenario is unthinkable, but it is also descriptive of the very behavior that Catholics have witnessed among their leaders, with slight variations, for the past 30 years.


The alumni report on Horace Mann



Washington Post: