The Truth About Child Abuse

Child Abuse

Research and analyses of official data, conducted by The Saint George Educational Trust, regarding Child Sexual Abuse reveals that by far the largest number of cases of child sexual abuse involving Catholic clergy have been recorded in the USA.

  • Over a 42-year period there were 10,667 cases of child sexual abuse and 81% of that sexual abuse was suffered by boys under eighteen years of age. [The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 2004].

Approximately one-quarter of the population of the USA is nominally Catholic – that is seventy million people. If the reasonable assumption is made that half of the Catholic population passed through childhood during this 42-year period then 0.03% of Catholic children suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy.

  • In Ireland, over a 34-year period, more than one hundred and seventy thousand children passed through Industrial and Reformatory Schools run by the Catholic Church. Of this number a total of 369 people, 242 males and 127 females, made complaint to the Irish Child Abuse Commission during its nine-year investigation that they had suffered sexual abuse. [Final Report, Commission to Enquire into Child Abuse, Dublin, 2009].

The incidence rate is 0.2%. Of the accused perpetrators 45% were Catholic clergy or religious, and 55% were visiting professionals, hired staff, family members or other pupils.

In stark contrast, in Secular Society:

  • In the UK an average of 16% of children under sixteen years of age suffer sexual abuse, 17% of boys and 28% of girls, in a secular environment. [Cawson et al, 2000, Child Maltreatment in the United Kingdom: A Study of the Prevalence of Child Abuse and Neglect. London, NSPCC, page 85].
  • In the USA 22%-23% of children under eighteen years of age suffer sexual abuse, 17% of boys and 28% of girls, in a secular environment. These are average rates compiled from 23 independent studies. [Rind et al, 1998, A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using college Samples; Psychological Bulletin 124: pages 22-53].
  • 9.6% of students suffer sexual abuse in secular US schools. [Shakeshaft, Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of the Literature, US Dept. of Education, 2004].

In summary we can say that the official statistics prove beyond any doubt that, contrary to pernicious media stories, the sexual abuse of children is hundreds of times more prevalent in Secular Society than it is in the Catholic Church.

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