Saturday, December 13, 2014

30 YEARS

Anonymous asks:


it took 30 years to accuse him ??

This distance of "30 years" has been frequently used to discredit John Toves' attempt to confront Archbishop Apuron about the alleged sexual molestation of his relative. It's rather interesting to listen to because some of the same people have no problem believing the decades-old allegations against Bill Cosby. 

On a more general note, as a society we have begun to invest a great amount of money and energy into "victims awareness" campaigns, as we have become ever more aware of the all sorts of abuse that never gets reported. And, under other circumstances, Mr. Toves' coming forward after "30 years" would have been seen as evidence of the success of our society's attempt to increase this awareness. However, because the current situation involves the Archbishop, suddenly normally clear thinking people are skittish. 

Perhaps, then, if you are one of the doubters, you should read the 2002 report commissioned by the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops to study the problem of clerical sex abuse in the United States. 

THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS
BY CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND DEACONS
IN THE UNITED STATES 195O-2OO2

A RESEARCH STUDY CONDUCTED BY THE JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE
THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK • FEBRUARY 2OO4

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Sexual-Abuse-of-Minors-by-Catholic-Priests-and-Deacons-in-the-United-States-1950-2002.pdf

A few years ago when Archbishop Apuron was coming under fire by S.N.A.P and I was recruited to assist in discrediting and getting rid of S.N.A.P., I did a thorough study of this report. And perhaps, before you throw people like John Toves overboard, you should too. 

The report found that while most of the incidents of clerical sex abuse occurred between 1950 and 1984, most of those incidents did not begin to be reported until the mid 1990's when the extent of the problem began to become better known. In fact, a delay in reporting of "30 years" turns out to be the norm. 

It should make sense to any thinking person that a child or even a teenager might not come forward immediately about being sexually molested, especially if the perpetrator is an authority figure, and especially if that authority figure is a church authority figure. In fact, they might never come forward. As we've learned over the last several years in working with "victims awareness", the experience is often so emotionally and psychologically wounding, the most common reaction is to bury it. 

Here are some of the main characteristics about clergy sex abuse discovered by the John Jay study:
  • An overwhelming majority of the victims, 81 percent, were males. The most vulnerable were boys aged 11 to 14, representing more than 40 percent of the victims. This goes against the trend in the general U.S. society where the main problem is men abusing girls.
  • A majority of the victims were post-pubescent adolescents with a small percentage of the priests accused of abusing children who had not reached puberty.
  • Most of the accused committed a variety of sex acts involving serious sexual offenses.
  • The most frequent context for abuse was a social event and many priests socialized with the families of victims.
  • Abuses occurred in a variety of places with the most common being the residence of the priest.

Aside from Mr. Toves' allegation, there is a question about whether Archbishop Apuron ever even looked into the possibility of victims abused of Fr. Louis Brouillard. Fr. Brouillard is a priest still incardinated in the Archdiocese of Agana and ministered on Guam in the 1970's for the better part of the decade. 

From the 2012 report by the Diocese of Duluth it appears Fr. Louis was sent away from Guam about 1981 to the Diocese of Duluth where he apparently continued his habit of sexually molesting young boys and in 1985 was finally removed from ministry. 

If Fr. Louis was removed from ministry in Duluth for sexually molesting youth, there is a strong possibility that he had been doing the same here on Guam. While his time here in Guam would have been before Archbishop Apuron became bishop, the question is whether or not Archbishop Apuron ever investigated the possibility of local victims and has made any attempt at healing. After all, Deacon Claros, the newly appointed sex abuse response coordinator of the archdiocese, recently told us that concern for the victim is primary. 

Archbishop Apuron has kept Fr. Louis Brouillard on the archdiocesan payroll all these years and he remains a priest incardinated in this archdiocese. There may or may not be local victims of Fr. Louis. The question is did Archbishop Apuron care to ever even look or did he figure sending Fr. Louis a paycheck every month for the last 30 years to stay away to be enough. 

Hmmm. 30 years. 





2 comments:

  1. Mary Lou Garcia-PeredaDecember 13, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    We can see from local news reports that victims of sexual abuse by educators are now coming forward more frequently and with less of a delay between the actual assault and time of reporting. It wasn't always that way, as victims would suffer in silence for years before finally confiding their violation to someone they trusted. These days the reports are made within weeks instead of months and/or years.

    Unfortunately the same does not apply to sexual abuse by members of the clergy, especially in a place as small as Guam. Because of traditional cultural norms, many people are still (1) in awe of the clergy and (2) unwilling to confront those of whom they are in awe. As indicated above, the delay of "30 years" was the norm for victims in the US. The fact that John Toves was willing to put his name and reputation on the line and travel to Guam to confront the Archbishop was most unusual in our island community. Of course there are those who will criticize him because he's "not really local" since he lives in California. However, it has been reported that people did speak to him. If so, I hope that the healing has started for them and that the perpetrators, whoever they may be, will be brought to justice. There is no statute of limitation for sexual abuse inflicted upon minors. Even if it is "30 years" (or more) after the fact, if the victims were minors at the time, the perpetrators can — and should — be charged.

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    1. It is true what Mary Lou says about being in awe and afraid of someone in power when one is a child or teenager, especially decades ago. I was 11 years old when I was a victim of incest many times over the period of a summer. I was terrified of my male parent and tried to block it out of my mind. Due to fear and awe of his power over me I could not protest. Even if I had had the courage to protest back then we were not taught in school the vocabulary we would need to communicate the abuse to someone else. Nor even that we should do so.

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