Sexual abuse within church adds to trauma of abuse


August 28, 2018

By Jalyn Souchek

Therapists for sexual abuse victims say abuse damages a person but abuse done so within a church only heightens the trauma.

Currently, the Vatican is struggling to respond to claims that Pope Francis helped cover up sexual abuse. He’s accused or protecting American Cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, who last month resigned in disgrace. This all comes after a Pennsylvania grand jury report that detailed hundreds of pedophile priests and suggested victim numbers may in the thousands.

Allegations against the church are nothing new nor are they new to the state of Iowa. In Dubuque, the archdiocese has paid over $5 million in settlements to sexual abuse survivors from cases that spanned the 1940’s to the 1970’s.

“With all sexual abuse there’s an element of power and control but then when you have the whole weight of the heighten of the church,” Catherine Essers, a sexual assault therapist at Riverview Center in Dubuque, said.

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