Sex-abuse survivor steps from the shadows: Nearly four decades after a priest raped him, former R.I. man depicted in ‘Spotlight’ tells his story

Providence Journal

By Karen Lee Ziner
Journal Staff Writer

Posted Nov. 28, 2015

PROVIDENCE — You won’t hear Jim Scanlan’s name in the film “Spotlight.” But you will see him portrayed as “Kevin from Providence,” who suffered sexual abuse by a Boston College High School priest in the late 1970s.

The film is a fact-based drama about the Boston Globe Spotlight Team’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 2002 investigation of the Catholic Church’s cover-up of clergy sexual abuse.

The former Rhode Island resident wants to help other survivors. For the first time, he agreed to identify himself and speak publicly about the events that changed the course of his life nearly four decades ago.

“The reason I’m using my name is to make sure people understand it’s nothing to be ashamed of — that the bad guys are the ones, they’re the criminals … they should be shamed by it all.”

Recognizing that sexual abuse destroys many of its victims, Scanlan wants to “give some hope to people who have been through it, that you can come out of it and be OK. You can have a really, really good life, a good family. I happen to be on that fortunate side.”

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