Sexual Abuse in Other Religions and Other Contexts

This page samples the evidence on child abuse outside the Catholic context – in public schools, in the Boy Scouts of America, in private schools, and by clergy and teachers of other faiths. focuses on the Catholic situation, but there are several reasons why concerned persons should be aware of the larger context.

The sexual abuse of children is a widespread problem within families. Our interest is in institutions that care for children in loco parentis, in documenting that part of the problem, especially in Catholicism, and in helping scholars, law enforcement officials, legislators, citizens, and the institutions themselves, to understand this terrible problem and to protect the children in their care.

Our daily Abuse Tracker provides links to coverage of clergy abuse in all religions and denominations. This page expands that effort. The clergy abuse problem in the Catholic church has been extensively documented in recent years.

Thousands of pages of church documents have been released as a result of public inquiries, civil litigation, and nonmonetary clauses in settlements. Investigative reporting and reports by grand juries, attorneys general, and government inquiries have deepened our understanding both of the Catholic problem as a broadly applicable case study of institutional behavior, and of the particularly Catholic inflection of the Catholic abuse itself.

Now documents have begun to emerge pertaining to abuse in other contexts, and excellent investigative reporting is being done. Australia's Royal Commission is studying the abuse of children not only in Catholic parishes and institution,s but in other denominations and in facilities run by charitable organizations.

A broader awareness is necessary if lawmakers are to improve the child protection statutes in the United States and internationally, and if we are all to understand the institutional dynamics of child sexual abuse. The situation in Catholicism provides such a strong case study for this necessary work in part because Catholicism is a highly structured environment with a long archival tradition. The documents in those archives tell the terrible stories of abuse and managerial malfeasance. They also tell the story of an institution changing, albeit reluctantly, under scrutiny and because of prosecutions, lawsuits, and investigations.

We urge you to support the work of websites dedicated to revealing the truth about sexual abuse in other faiths: for the Orthodox Churches; for the Jehovah's Witnesses; and for the Southern Baptist Convention. They need your help.

Public Schools

- Los Angeles Schools Ordered to Pay $6 Million to 2 Boys Who Were Abused, Liam Stack, NY Times (October 30, 2015)
- Ex-Montgomery Teacher Sentenced to 40 Years for Sexual Abuse of Children, by Donna St. George, Washington Post (August 28, 2015)
- $140M Settlement in Miramonte Civil Suit against LAUSD, by Karen Foshay and Paul Glickman, KPCC (November 21, 2014)
- Selected Cases of Public and Private Schools That Hired or Retained Individuals with Histories of Sexual Misconduct, by Gregory D. Kutz, GAO-11-200, Report to the Chairman, Committee on Education and Labor, House of Representatives, prepared by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (Washington DC: December 2010)
- Sexual Misconduct Plagues US Schools, by Martha Irvine and Robert Tanner, Associated Press (October 21, 2007)
- Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature, by Charol Shakeshaft, prepared for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Under Secretary, Policy and Program Studies Service (Washington DC: 2004)
- Hostile Hallways, researched by Harris Interactive, commissioned by the AAUW Educational Foundation (May 2001)

Boy Scouts of America

- Settlement in Sex Abuse Case Keeps Scouts' "Perversion Files" Closed, by Amanda Covarrubias and Kim Christensen, LA Times (January 29, 2015)
- Ruling Allows Use of "Perversion Files" in Boy Scout Sex Abuse Case, by Amanda Covarrubias and Kim Christensen, LA Times (January 9, 2015)
- Ex-Boy Scout Describes Mental Scars Left by Abuse at Trial, by Gillian Flaccus, Associated Press (January 27, 2015)
- Release of Scouts' Files Reveals Decades of Abuse, by Jason Felch and Kim Christensen, LA Times (October 19, 2012)
- Watchdog: Inside the Boy Scouts' 'Perversion Files', Anthology of Coverage, LA Times (2011-2012)
- Inside the ‘Perversion Files’: Tracking Decades of Allegations in the Boy Scouts, LA Times (October 18, 2012)
- Boy Scout Perversion Files, Crew Janci
- Jury Verdict Hits Boy Scouts with $18.5 Million in Punitive Damages, CNN (April 23, 2010 )
- Jury Awards Former Boy Scout $1.4 Million in Sexual Abuse Trial, Oregonian (April 13, 2010)

- Scouting's Sex Abuse Trail Leads to 50 States, by Patrick Boyle, Part 1 of 5, Washington Times (May 20, 1991)
- The Abusers - State by State, Washington Times (May 20, 1991)
- 25 Years of Abuse Kept Molester Moving, by Patrick Boyle, Part 2 of 5, Washington Times (May 21, 1991)
- Corporate Policy Kept Abuse Secret, by Patrick Boyle, Part 3 of 5, Washington Times (May 22, 1991)
- Boy Fled Terror, Shame by Suicide, by Patrick Boyle, Part 4 of 5, Washington Times (May 23, 1991)
- Scouts Take Heed, Hit Abuse Head-On, by Patrick Boyle, Part 5 of 5, Washington Times (May 24, 1991)

Private Schools

- Shattuck-St. Mary's Former Teachers Claim Seibel's Alleged Sexual Abuse of Students Known, Not Reported, by Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio (March 5, 2013)
- Prep-School Predators: The Horace Mann School’s Secret History of Sexual Abuse, by Amos Kamil, NY Times (June 6, 2012)
- A Private-School Affair, by Alex Shoumatoff, Vanity Fair (January 2006)

Nonprofit Organizations

- Report of the Special Investigative Counsel Regarding the Actions of The Pennsylvania State University Related to the Child Sexual Abuse Committed by Gerald A. Sandusky, by Louis Freeh, commissioned by the Special Investigations Task Force of the Board of Trustees of The Pennsylvania State University (July 12, 2012)
- Remarks of Louis Freeh in Conjunction with Announcement of Publication of Report Regarding The Pennsylvania State University (July 12, 2012)


- Official Website of the Southern Baptist Convention
- Investigation Urged into Child Sexual Abuse in the Baptist Church, by Rose French, Associated Press (February 23, 2007)
- No More Church Secrets about Sex Abuse, by Christa Brown, Dallas Morning News (April 28, 2006)
- Baptists' Traditions Make It Hard to Oust Sex-Abusing Clergy, by Terry Mattingly, Knoxville News-Sentinel (June 22, 2002)

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons)

- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
- Polygamist Leader Warren Jeffs Sentenced to 5 Years to Life, Associated Press (November 20, 2007)
- State of Utah V. Warren Steed Jeffs - Court Filings, State of Utah (October 31, 2007)

Episcopal and Anglican Churches

- Episcopal Church
- Anglican Communion
- Bishop in Sex Case Contends 1970s Were Different, by David O’Reilly, Philadelphia Inquirer (June 12, 2008)
- Episcopal Bishop Suspended, by David O'Reilly, Philadelphia Inquirer (November 2, 2007)
- Episcopal Diocese Releases Timeline Chronicling Claims of Sexual Abuse, by Eileen E. Flynn, American-Statesman (September 8, 2007)

Jehovah's Witnesses

- Authorized Site of the Office of Public Information of Jehovah's Witnesses
- Suffer the Little Children, by Betsan Powys, BBC Panorama (July 14, 2002)
- Jehovah's Witnesses' Policy on Child Molesters Attacked: Church Says It Follows Laws on Reporting Suspected Abuse, by Peter Smith, Courier-Journal (February 4, 2001)

Jewish Communities

- Un-Orthodox Jews
- No Sex Charge for Kolko: Boys' Parents Foiled by DA, by Hella Winston and Larry Cohler-Esses, Jewish Week (April 15, 2008)
- In the Basement, Behind a Closed Door, by Aviva Lori, Haaretz (November 15, 2007)
- Child Sex Abuse Case Still Haunts, by Roxanna Sherwood, ABC News (October 11, 2006)
- Silence of the Lam: Accused of Sexually Abusing Young Boys, a Brooklyn Rabbi Lit for Israel 22 Years Ago, by Kristen Lombardi, Village Voice (July 25, 2006)
- Black Hat Meets Blog, by Jennifer Friedlin, Jewish Week (May 25, 2006)
- On the Rabbi's Knee, by Robert Kolker, New York Magazine (May 15, 2006)

Orthodox Churches

- Two Arrests Signal a Giant Step Forward for the Civil Rights Movement for Children, by Marci Hamilton, Find Law (September 7, 2006)
- Insider's Statement Accuses Blanco Monks, by Zeke MacCormack, Express-News (April 8, 2007)



Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.