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#82716 - 08/23/04 11:18 PM A Model for Responding to Sexual Abuse within Institutions
orodo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 735
Loc: Imladris, The Safe Haven of Ar...
I served on the committee that prepared this report. Thought someone out there might find it useful. It's not the end all, but certainly if aspects of it are implemented, the journey for one might be less troubled?

http://sarsonline.org/lawstat_report.php

The sad part is that we held a press conference today in Portland Maine, and not one media outlet has yet put this up on the web. I'll post some links when I can find some. In the interim, I invite you to get to the link and download the report.

Peace

Marc L.

_________________________
It is better to be Dragon Master than Dragon Slayer. Some Dragons are meant to be mastered, others meant to be slain. Odin, Great Spirit, God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference. "May the Valar guide and bless you on your path under the sky"

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#82717 - 08/24/04 08:07 AM Re: A Model for Responding to Sexual Abuse within Institutions
orodo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 735
Loc: Imladris, The Safe Haven of Ar...
This is from our local Portland Press Herald in Maine...

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Groups advised on abuse claims


By JOSHUA L. WEINSTEIN, Portland Press Herald Writer

Copyright 2004 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.


A group that began as an independent effort to address sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church released a report Monday that offers a model for any institution - not just the church - on how to respond to allegations of such abuse.

The model calls for institutions to be far more open than they have been in the past, and says that victims and their families should be quickly referred to someone outside the institution for help.

"Some of the institutional responses that have been out there have been very harmful, very hurtful to the family," said Courtney Oland, one of the 10 people who made up a group called the Best Practice Team, which wrote the report and developed the model.

Oland, whose brother was sexually abused by a priest, said during a news conference about the report that her family could have used such a model when her brother disclosed his ordeal.

"When this tragedy struck, we naturally turned to the institution for guidance," she said. "It maybe wasn't our best first stop."

The report suggests that institutions make use of the 10 sexual assault response centers in Maine. Those centers already are set up to help connect survivors with counselors, self-help groups, and other service providers. The centers also can provide families of survivors with information.

Oland said had she known that the centers could have helped, she would have made use of them. "They could have helped me access a wealth of information."

The group originally formed after a group called Voice of the Faithful, made up of Catholics concerned about clergy abuse in their church, contacted several professionals in the area of sexual abuse. As the Best Practice Team researched, it found that sexual abuse was far more widespread than it initially believed - the report mentions the sexual abuse at the state-run Baxter School for the Deaf, in the Boy Scouts of America, in other churches and in public and private schools.

"We came to realize that we had the opportunity and the responsibility as professionals and advocates to recommend not only how the Roman Catholic Church should respond to the sexual abuse within that institution, but also how other institutions should respond as well," the report says.

Cyndi Amato, executive director of Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine, and Oland presented the report to Bishop Richard Malone of the Diocese of Portland earlier this month.

The bishop did not commission the study, but met with the two, said Sue Bernard, the bishop's spokeswoman.

"The bishop was pleased to talk to them and felt that this was an excellent piece of work," she said.

Bernard said the bishop will take the report into account when he reviews the diocese's ethics policy.

Michael Sweatt, of Voice of the Faithful, said the bishop should do more than that. Sweatt said he should implement the model as the church's.

"He has an opportunity to set the tone, to set the pace, to set the example for all institutions, and what better institution to set the tone than the church," Sweatt said.

The report includes guidelines for both institutions and for survivors and their families. It also contains a section on reporting sexual abuse, along with information regarding the treatment of child sexual abusers who have molested children in an institutional setting.

It also has resources for survivors and their families.

It is available online at http://www.sarsonline.org in the section marked "reports, laws & statistics."

Staff Writer Joshua L. Weinstein can be contacted at 791-6368 or at: jweinstein@pressherald.com

_________________________
It is better to be Dragon Master than Dragon Slayer. Some Dragons are meant to be mastered, others meant to be slain. Odin, Great Spirit, God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference. "May the Valar guide and bless you on your path under the sky"

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#82718 - 08/24/04 04:43 PM Re: A Model for Responding to Sexual Abuse within Institutions
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Thanks Marc

All of you on that committee deserve to feel proud of what you've done.


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#82719 - 08/25/04 09:40 AM Re: A Model for Responding to Sexual Abuse within Institutions
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Thank you, Marc. I posted the link on the ATSA (Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers) listserve. It should lead to some hits for your work.

Ken


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#82720 - 08/25/04 11:00 PM Re: A Model for Responding to Sexual Abuse within Institutions
orodo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 735
Loc: Imladris, The Safe Haven of Ar...
Thanks for checking it out! I'm hopeful that some good has finally come of something so insidious.

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By Judy Harrison, Of the NEWS Staff e-mail Judy
Last updated: Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Methods offered to react to abuse
Model suggested for child workers


PORTLAND - In the wake of sexual abuse allegations involving churches, schools and other institutions, a team of Maine counselors offered Monday an outline of ways to respond to the problem, especially when children are involved.

The 10-member group hopes its recommendations will be adopted by churches, schools and other organizations that deal with children throughout the state.

In a 32-page document titled, "A Model for Responding to Sexual Abuse Within Institutions," the counselors recommended that victims and institutions turn to the state's 10 sexual assault centers before calling lawyers.

"An institution must choose," says the report, released during a news conference Monday at the University of Southern Maine.

"It can respond in a self-protective manner, which can deepen the pain for victims-survivors, their families, and the community and can continue to place children at risk; or, it can respond with an open, compassionate attitude that will bring healing to victims-survivors, their families, the community, and the institution.

"By responding with openness and compassion, the institution will be supporting those children who have been abused and will be protecting other children from the potential of abuse."

The group was formed in February 2003 at the behest of Voice of the Faithful, a Catholic lay reform group, in response to the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church.

The group quickly concluded that because recent reports of sexual abuse had involved the Baxter School for the Deaf, the Boy Scouts of America, some public and private schools, and churches of other denominations, it had to broaden its focus beyond the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, said team member Cyndi Amato, executive director of Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine.

The goal became to create a procedure that serves as a way for institutions to regain trust by breaking the secrecy of abuse, listening to any child who discloses abuse, holding the perpetrator accountable, and reaching out to outside providers and professionals specifically trained in sexual abuse treatment.

"This document is by no means exhaustive," Amato said. "We see it as a starting place."

Panel member Courtney Doherty Oland, whose brother was sexually abused by a priest, praised the report. She said her family turned to an institution - the church - because it appeared to be the only way to get assistance for counseling.

"Revealing sexual abuse is like pulling the pin of a hand grenade, laying it in the middle of the living room and daring someone to touch it," she said. "Seeking support and assistance means taking some very scary steps. I hope this packet serves in that capacity for victims and their families."

Amato said she and Oland met two weeks ago with Bishop Richard Malone of Maine's Catholic diocese. He said he would compare the panel's recommendations to the so-called Dallas charter, a document prepared by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in response to the abuse scandal, they reported.

Malone also told the women he would consider including some of the panel's recommendations in the code of ethics for diocese employees undergoing its annual review, they said.

The diocese itself did not issue a response to the report Monday.

Panel member Steve Beirne, a family life minister and former employee of the diocese, said Monday that he believes good can come out of the abuse scandal.

"The church has the opportunity to bring the issue of sexual abuse in society to the surface," he said. "The priest abuse scandal has given the church, in a sense, the opportunity to bring all society some healing. [The model] can work, but whether it does work depends on whether the members of the institution - clergy and laity alike - have the political will to make it work."

For a copy of the report, call 828-1035. It may be downloaded from http://www.sarsonline.org from the reports, laws, statistics link.

_________________________
It is better to be Dragon Master than Dragon Slayer. Some Dragons are meant to be mastered, others meant to be slain. Odin, Great Spirit, God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference. "May the Valar guide and bless you on your path under the sky"

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