Category: Child Abuse

Will a Public Database of Pedophiles Protect Children? The answer may surprise you.

by John McKiggan

The federal government recently introduced legislation to create a public database of child sex offenders.

The bill increases the sentences for child sex crimes and requires sex offenders to provide information when they travel and also facilitates information sharing between various law enforcement agencies.

As an advocate for survivors of childhood abuse I support legislation increasing the penalties for child sex offences.

Catholic Archbishop in Alberta, NWT Apologizes for Residential School Abuse: Irony Abounds

by John McKiggan

CTV News has reported that Archbishop Richard Smith of the Archdiocese of Edmonton has issued a formal apology for the Catholic Church’s role in running the Indian Residential Schools.

Smith said:

“…we the Catholic Bishops of Alberta and Northwest Territories apologize to those who experienced sexual and physical abuse in residential schools under Catholic administration.”

How Will Pope Francis Respond to the Catholic Sexual Abuse Crisis?

by John McKiggan

Newly ordained Pope Francis has certainly started his papacy by making the headlines. He turned down the luxurious Papal housing in the Apostolic Palace in favour of a simple hotel room, he travelled to a juvenile detention centre to wash the feet of the inmates, and he has issued what is seen as a strong statement against sex abusers in the clergy.

Pope Francis, the head of 1.2 billion followers of the Roman Catholic faith, called on the Church to act against clergy sex abuse. He demanded that the Bishops’ conferences around the world need to step up to disciplining the priests and assisting the victims. USA Today reports, :

“This could be an indication that he will move from a strongly centralized government of the church of 1.2 billion people to one that places increased authority locally.”

Did the Moncton Archdiocese Break the Law by not Reporting Priest Sexual Abuse?

by John McKiggan

Priests Suspended After Alleged Child Abuse

Last week the Archdiocese of Moncton announced that two of it’s priests Rev. Yvon Arsenault and Rev. Irois Despres had been removed: “from any ministry whatsoever following allegations of serious sexual abuse on minors on their part.”

Concern Over Failure to Report

New Research May Help Victims of Traumatic Abuse

by John McKiggan

Memories of Abuse
As a lawyer who helps people with sexual abuse compensation claims one of the most common challenges my clients face is dealing with the intrusive effects of the memories of their abuse.

In the text Principles of Trauma Therapy: A Guide to Symptoms, Evaluation, and Treatment the authors John Briere and Catherine Scott identify several areas where memories of childhood abuse may effect psychological function in adults:

Negative pre-verbal assumptions and relational schemata: In other words, children who are victims of abuse tend to have a disproportionately negative self image. As adults, survivors become too defensive, angry or disconnected to have healthy inter-personal relationships.

Child Pornography Reporting Laws

by John McKiggan

A new California law mandates that computer technicians who discover child pornography MUST report it immediately to a specified child protection agency. Laws like this are proven to help catch sexual predators and those who protect them. A recent example is the convictions of Father Shawn Ratigan and Bishop Robert Finn.

Bishop Failed to Report Child Porn

In December of 2010 a computer technician found “alarming pictures” of children on Reverend Ratigan’s laptop. Despite the pictures being shown to Bishop Finn, the Bishop decided not to report Ratigan to police.

Irish Bishop’s Apology: Evidence of a much bigger problem?

by John McKiggan

Sexual Abuse Was “Friendship”?!

Dr. John Kirby, a Catholic Bishop in Ireland, recently apologized for the role he played in transferring abusive priests from one parish to another. In an attempt to explain his decisions he stated:
“I was unaware of the recidivist nature, or the compulsive nature of sexual abuse and I felt that it was a friendship that had gone astray, and was wrong.”
Kirby’s “apology” came after a number of audits were done on different religious congregations in Ireland which uncovered more than 330 allegations of abuse against 146 priests and members of the congregations.

Bishop Kirby said his actions were the standard church response of the time.

Guidelines to help prevent child abuse

by John McKiggan

I was doing some research to write an article about what organizations can do to prevent child abuse when I came across this article written by my colleague Minneapolis attorney, Mike Bryant.

The article is short and to the point and links out to a variety of articles that non-profits, churches and other organizations can use when coming up with policies and guidelines to help prevent child abuse.

How Organizations Can Prevent Lawsuits for The Abuse of Children

Albert LeBlanc – Ex Priest and Probation Officer Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse

by John McKiggan

Albert LeBlanc a fomer catholic priest from the Yarmouth Diocese pleaded guilty this week to charges that he sexually abused six boys in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Some of the charges stem from the period when LeBlanc was employed as a priest with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Yarmouth the later charges relate to periods when he was employed as a case worker with Social Services and then a probation officer.

LeBlanc is facing 44 more charges which are scheduled to be dealt with in August.

The Diocese of Yarmouth has already been sued by several of LeBlanc’s victims. The potential legal exposure for the Diocese, Family and Children’s Services and Probation Services could be enormous.

Another former boy scout leader charged with sexual abuse

by John McKiggan

Scouts Canada has apologized for not reporting suspected cases of child abuse. They are conducting an internal investigation into hundreds of sexual abuse claims from past cases. See Scouts Canada Admits Not Reporting Abuse Claims.

Now they can add another abuser to their list. Notorious pedophile and former boy scout leader Ralph Rowe has been charged, again, with multiple counts of sexual abuse against young boys.

Media reports indicate Scouts Canada has already been sued for sexual abuse perpetrated by Raph Rowe.

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