STATEMENT by Lauren Book on findings that 1 in 14 Australian Catholic priests committed child sexual abuse

“The findings of the Australian inquiry into child sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests in their country since 1980, revealing 1 in 14 committed child sexual abuse, are shocking and despicable…but all too familiar. We know proper reports were not being made and priests were being shuffled around, free to commit assault after assault in community after community, harming child after child, instead of being turned over to authorities and made to pay for their heinous crimes. I cannot say it enough: this happens in all communities, all continents, all countries, to children of all ages, races, religions and socioeconomic statuses. This is Australia’s story, but this is also OUR story. And until we commit to doing more as a society, and as individuals, to combat this preventable crime, we will continue to see headlines such as these. Please, let’s arm ourselves with information on grooming tactics of predators, signs of abuse in children, how to make a report, and teach our children prevention education and how to seek help if they are harmed. It’s ALWAYS ok to tell, and as we teach children in our curriculum, it’s important to keep telling until you get the ‘2 H’s’: Heard and Helped.”

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