Responding to Sexual Abuse Will Take Years—and It Should

American Magazine
November 21, 2017

The flood of revelations about sexual harassment and assault, whether in Washington or Hollywood, is unlikely to stop anytime soon. The walls of denial built up by position and self-protective ignorance have been breached. If the tragic revelations of the Catholic Church’s sex abuse crisis are any guide, the process of reckoning with problems that have been avoided for decades will itself take decades.

Neither the church as a whole nor the editors of this review are in a position to prescribe a comprehensive remedy for the systemic patterns of harassment, abuse and denial. But there are pitfalls to be avoided and small measures of hope to be encouraged, and the church’s experience has some lessons to offer.








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