January 06, 2006

Head of survivors group disagrees with policy on abuse reports

Radio Iowa

by Stella Shaffer

The Iowa head of a priest-abuse-survivors group says he disagrees with the new policy that law-enforcement won't automatically be notified when someone comes forward to report abuse they've suffered at the hands of clergy. The idea is to offer a degree of confidentiality that might encourage more to report abuse, but Steve Theisen of "SNAP" says police should get all the reports.

Theisen says he understands what the victim is feeling, but says perpetrators have, at a conservative estimate, a hundred victims for each offender. He says getting them reported starts a victim on their "journey to healing." Theisen says it's also important to protect other kids who might become victims of the molester, since in his opinion they're at risk to offend again all their life. He notes when a priest confesses to higher-ups in the church, they often are not reported to law-enforcement authorities or charged with a crime, which means they won't appear on any sex-offender registry.

Posted by kshaw at January 6, 2006 08:23 AM