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Sexual Abuse In The Church

Claims of sexual abuse within the Church go back several years. The first documented accusations date back to the 1960s, but sexual abuse in the Church continues to be a problem today. Most recently, in 2002 the Boston Globe broke the huge story on rampant sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. And just this year, a study that looked at sex abuse in the Catholic Church of France showed that over 200,000 children had been abused by clergy since the 1950s. And the buck doesn’t stop there. 

How big of a problem does church sex abuse continue to be today? Read on for some hard-hitting statistics related to sex abuse in the Church. 

Statistics: Sexual Abuse In The Church 

This section tackles some of the most harrowing statistics on sexual abuse in the Church.

General Statistics

  • Over 3% of women who had attended a congregation in the past month reported that they had been the object of clergy sexual misconduct at some time in their adult lives.
  • Victims and complainants to the UK Church have repeatedly said that they reported their allegations to the Church, but that outside parties were never involved.
  • In 2019, 69% of American Catholics said that they thought abuse in the Catholic Church was an ongoing issue.
  • Inquiries that have looked into the number of priests accused of sexual abuse estimate that around 4.5% of priests have been accused of sexual abuse from 1950 to 2002. This is over 100,000 priests! Some even estimate that this number will be closer to 9% once all cases have been looked through.

France’s Report on the Sexual Abuse of Children by The Church

In October 2021, a deep-diving report on child sex abuse in the Church in France revealed a history of abuse on a large scale. The report showed that 330,000 children were abused by clergy and other non-church members. The following are some other findings of the report

  • It is estimated that around 216,000 children were abused by priests between 1950 and 2020. 
  • 80% of the 330,000 children were boys. 
  • About 2,900-3,200 male clergy members were behind the abuse. 
  • The number of abusive priests was highest in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Bullivant Review

In 2018, the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (CSAS), on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference and the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC), asked Professor Stephen Bullivant to provide a report on the number of accusations of child sexual abuse in the Church in England and Wales. These are his findings

  • 3,072 instances of alleged abuse were made by 1,753 individuals about 936 alleged perpetrators. Allegations were made against religious orders and dioceses. 
  • The largest number of reported abuses were from the 1960s and 1970s.
  • Complaint reporting increased starting in the mid-1990s, with a high amount being reported in 2010 (84). 

Schedule A Free Case Review

Massey Law Firm is committed to helping victims of abuse reclaim their lives for themselves and seek the justice they deserve. If you or someone you love is a survivor of clergy sex abuse, call our office today at 602-955-0055 and a member of our team will give you a free case review. While we can’t always ease the emotional burden of the experience, we swear to work as hard as we can to get you the proper justice and financial compensation you deserve.

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