April 11, 2005

Church aims to shed light on sex abuse

FREMONT (CA)
The Argus

By Rob Dennis, STAFF WRITER

FREMONT A meeting about priest sexual abuse Sunday night began with a prayer and ended with a message: Shine a light on it.

"Child abuse thrives in secrecy," said Diane Swirsky, a clinical psychologist and trauma specialist. "Open the door, turn the light on, listen to your kids, talk to your kids, make sure kids have some place to go where they'll be believed."

More than 50 community members gathered for the meeting in the Corpus Christi Parish Center to discuss the priest abuse crisis that has swept the country and touched their community.

Even the center itself is a reminder of the issue. It was dedicated to the Rev. James Clark until his name was removed last year after three former altar boys accused the former pastor of molesting them.

Swirsky said the trauma of sexual abuse can be exacerbated when the perpetrator is a trusted figure, such as a parish priest.

Posted by kshaw at April 11, 2005 07:10 AM