This week’s required reading…

Here is the latest group of articles I am recommending as your reading for the week:

How a Catholic sex abuse report in Pennsylvania echoed around the U.S.

D.C. attorney general opens inquiry into sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Washington

Bill White: PA Senate’s inaction on child sex abuse bill was cowardly

Want to make it up to church abuse survivors, Sen. Scarnati? Come back to Harrisburg now | Editorial

The Catholic Church owns the Pa. Capitol. Abuse victims saw that Wednesday night. | Maria Panaritis

The Pennsylvania Senate’s failure to offer remedy to child sexual abuse victims was an utter disgrace

Virginia investigates Catholic Church: ” We have heard from Victims” 

 

It looks like there is traction, we just don’t seem to be going anywhere.

#mysurvivorfrustration

#wherearethey

#ourhouse

FACSA President’s Recent Article in Notre Dame Magazine

I am providing this link  to John Salveson’s article in Notre Dame Magazine.   As President of  Foundation to Abolish Child Sexual Abuse (FACSA), Mr. Salveson is leading the charge to change laws to protect children and vulnerable adults from sexual predators and the institutions that have protected those predators.  His frustrations are very similar to frustrations that I and other survivors have experienced.

FACSA is an organization that is doing a lot of good, tangible work supporting survivors of child sexual abuse.  They are doing so without a lot of fanfare and self promotion.

I encourage you to read Mr Salveson’s article and then go to the FACSA website to support their efforts to protect children.

I want to thank everyone who sent this article to me, especially my Dad.

I am working on posting articles on this blog more regularly.  With furloughs ongoing at work, I am going to have more time to spend here.

In Harrisburg, What is Going to Take?

What is it going to take?   Exactly what needs to happen before the people’s representatives in Harrisburg allow a vote on a bill to protect children and vulnerable adults?  The judicial committee sits on its collective hands because of lobbyists for the insurance industry and institutions with a history of protecting sexual predators spend millions to prevent Pennsylvania House Bills 832 and 878 from coming to the floor of the State Assembly for a fair vote.

The latest sexual abuse crisis involving a sexual predator and the powerful organization that sought to coverup his crimes involves the venerated football program at the Pennsylvania State University.  USA Today reported on the former Penn State Defensive Coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, 67, of State College was arrested this past Saturday.  It is alleged that senior officials at Penn State knew of these allegations and failed to report them.  Athletic Director  Timothy Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz have stepped down in the wake of charges being filed against them.

Mr. Sandusky went on to establish a non-profit organization,  The Second Mile, a charity to help troubled youth, in 1997 and it provided him with “access to hundreds of boys, many of whom were vulnerable due to their social situations,” the grand jury said.

Penn State is going to put its reputation on the line for a bottom feeder like this?  Oh, by the way, legal support will come from the University for Curley and Schultz because the alleged misconduct happened while those two pillars of ethical behavior were performing their official duties as Penn State employees.  The taxpayers and tuition check writers of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania  will be bankrolling the legal teams trying to justify their actions.

Taking a page from the Catholic Church’s Playbook, Penn State’s President, Graham Spanier said that Curley and Schultz have his “unconditional support.”

“I have complete confidence in how they have handled the allegations about a former university employee,” he said, adding that the charges are “groundless.” An amazing statement given that the investigation is still developing.  By giving his unconditional support, President Spanier is diminishing the victims in this case by making such grand pronunciations.  Maybe the shout at the next football game should be “We Are Penn State… And We Are Ashamed!”

President Spanier, I hope that part of the fall out from this case of sexual predation on the campus and the covering up of those crimes by high-ranking university officials will be either your resignation or dismissal from your current position.

My question is, given yet another large and powerful institution and its senior leadership providing cover for a sexual predator in the Commonwealth, why is the legislature continuing to give tacit support to organizations that are putting children and vulnerable adults at risk by not allowing legislation to get to the floor that could help victims and hold predators and their protectors accountable?

How long will the citizens of Pennsylvania allow their lawmakers to be the patsies of the Insurance lobby and the institutions that have supported the predators in their organization as part of their risk management programs?  How long will they allow the chair of the Judicial committee, Representative Ron Marsico to keep legislation from getting a vote? Contact him and  ask him! His email address is  rmarsico@pahousegop.com .  He can also be reached at:

Hon. Ron Marsico
4401 Linglestown Road, Suite B
Harrisburg, PA 17112
(717) 652-3721
Fax: (717) 652-6276

Hon. Ron Marsico
218 Ryan Office Building
PO Box 202105
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2105
(717) 783-2014
Fax: (717) 705-2010

Justice4PAKids and the Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse (FACSA) Press Release

Justice4PAKids and the Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse (FACSA) passed along their latest press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 7, 2011

Contact:         Maureen Martinez at 610-296-3264 info@justice4pakids.com

                                Tammy Lerner at 610-209-9568 lerner@abolishsexabuse.org

                        John Salveson at 215-8700680 salveson@abolishsexabuse.org

Justice4PAkids and Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse (FACSA) Demand Legislative Action in Wake of Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal!

 

How Many Children Will Be Raped

Before Pennsylvania’s Legislature Acts to Prevent Future Abuses?

 MALVERN, PA- Justice4PAkids and FACSA is demanding that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enact better laws to protect children from sex abuse predators.  Maureen Martinez, Co-Founder of Justice4PAkids, Tammy Lerner and John Salveson, both of FACSA, want to send a clear message to Ronald Marico, (R-Dauphin County) Chairman of the Judiciary Committee that the committee needs to immediately list HB 832 and 878 on its agenda for discussion and hearings – especially in the wake of the current Penn State sex abuse scandal.

Martinez stated, “When are the legislators going to realize sex abuse is an epidemic in our state and enact the important bills that are n front of them for better protection against predators? The Penn State cover-up of Sandusky is just another example of how this state protects predators, not kids.”

HB 832 and 878 were introduced on March 9, 2011 by Louise Bishop and Mike McGeehan (both D-Philadelphia).  HB 832 would repeal the statute of limitations in civil suits relating to child sexual abuse cases moving forward. HB 878 would provide a one-time, two-year window in which victims could bring a civil action in cases previously barred by current statute.

“Above and beyond justice for victims, these bills are about prevention.  The state has an obligation to implement and enact all possible safeguards, in an effort to ensure that future generations of children are spared the horrors of childhood sexual abuse and its impact, which lasts a lifetime,” stated John Salveson. 

“These bills are about letting victims at least have the CHOICE to have their day in court and being able to publically name their offender without having to worry about defamation. So many victims are over the statute of limitations and not even given the choice to seek justice. Even more alarming, a victim cannot publically name their offender, while perpetrators are still out there in society and seeking new children to harm,” says Martinez.

            Lerner added, “Additionally, our leaders ought to take note that childhood sexual abuse is the second most costly victim crime in the United States and Pennsylvania, second only to homicide.  By taking steps to prevent the crimes from happening in the first place, we will be saving PA tax payers billions of dollars in the long term:  The long term economic impact of CSA to PA is over $1.4 billion, with the immediate impact estimated to be over $138 million per year.  Prevention costs significantly less than treatment.  The fact remains, at the end of the day, you’re either for the protection, health and welfare of children, or you’re not.  So far, Rep. Marsico has demonstrated that he’s not.”

            Justice4PAkids and FACSA is a coalition of child and victim advocates, lawyers, mental health professionals and concerned citizens dedicated to eliminating the statutes of limitations for childhood sexual abuse. This would expose perpetrators and those who harbor them; protect children; give victims an opportunity for justice; save taxpayers money.  

            On Oct 17, the coalition addressed the State Representatives in a press conference and personally hand delivered a petition of more than 1500 signatures supporting bills 832 and 878.

Despite numerous calls, emails, faxes and written letters, no one from Rep. Ron Marsico’s staff has ever stated when or if Marsico will place the bills on his Judiciary Committee Agenda.

Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse (FACSA) Action Alert

The Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse (FACSA) has issued an “Action Alert” to garner support for the NY Child Victims Act (NY Assembly Bill 2596). If you are a victim who was abused in New York (even if you are not a resident of that state), know someone that was or are just concerned about the continuing sexual exploitation and abuse of children please consider writing to the state legislators listed below.

If you need to understand why this bill is important, the NY Coalition to Protect Children has a website that explains better than I can.

The text of the FACSA Action Alert follows:

Urgent Action Needed on NY Child Victims Act

In the next 2 days your action could help get the NY Child Victims Act (NY Assembly Bill 2596) passed.

There is a bill in the New York Assembly that has a chance to extend the statute of limitations on child sex abuse and to open a one year window to allow survivors to have a chance for justice. The NY Catholic Conference is promoting a competing bill which extends the statute of limitations minimally and does not have a window. It is imperative that NY Legislators hear from survivors and their supporters. Please call or email the people on the list below and share this email with everyone you know who cares about children.

THE TIME TO CALL/EMAIL THEM IS NOW!

These following members of the New York Assembly may be on the fence about the Child Victims Act. It is imperative that they hear from victims and their supporters to encourage them to vote yes on this bill.

Ron Canestrari 518-455-4474 CanestR@assembly.state.ny.us

RoAnn M. Destito 518-455-5454 DestitR@assembly.state.ny.us

John J. McEneny 518-455-4178 McEnenJ@assembly.state.ny.us

Audrey I. Pheffer 518-455-4292 PheffeA@assembly.state.ny.us

Robert Reilly 518-455-5931 ReillyR@assembly.state.ny.us

Marc Alessi 518-455-5294 AlessiM@assembly.state.ny.us

Carl Heastie 518-455-4800 HeastieC@assembly.state.ny.us

Sam Hoyt 518-455-4886 HoytS@assembly.state.ny.us

William Magee 518-455-4807 MageeW@assembly.state.ny.us

Joseph Morell 518-455-5373 MorellJ@assembly.state.ny.us

Alec Brook-Krasny 518-455-4811 BrookKrasnyA@assembly.state.ny.us

Joan K. Christensen 518-455-5383 ChristensenJ@assembly.state.ny.us

Andrew Hevesi 518-455-4926 HevesiA@assembly.state.ny.us

Naomi Rivera 518-455-5844 RiveraN@assembly.state.ny.us

Kenneth Zebrowski 518-455-5735 ZebrowskiK@assembly.state.ny.us

Francine DelMonte 518-455-5284 DelMonF@assembly.state.ny.us

Mark Weprin 518-455-5806 WeprinM@assembly.state.ny.us

William B. Magnarelli 518-455-4826 MagnarW@assembly.state.ny.us

Michael Benedetto 518-455-5296 BenedeM@assembly.state.ny.us

Adam Bradley 518-455-5397 BradleA@assembly.state.ny.us

Grace Meng 518-455-5411 MengG@assembly.state.ny.us

Michael G. DenDekker 518-455-4545 DenDekkerM@assembly.state.ny.us

Frank K. Skartados 518-455-5762 SkartadosF@assembly.state.ny.us