State needs tools to investigate wide-scale abuse

The Day

September 30, 2018

By Editorial Board

Sexual assault and abuse are crimes so revolting that their innocent victims have borne the stigma: blame the victim, shame the victim, silence the victim, shield the victim’s name from the public. The events of the past weeks have upended those old conventions, awkwardly, painfully, but irrevocably.

The Day recently published articles by staff writer Joe Wojtas, whose reporting over the years has covered sexual abuse charges against Roman Catholic priests in the Norwich Diocese and allegations of sexual misbehavior by a former Stonington first selectman. The Sept. 23 stories were prompted by coverage of local reaction to a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report detailing charges against some 300 priests in that state over many years. One is the story of a New London man who says he was assaulted in Noank by a pastor now deceased. He described the emotional burdens ever since.

Christine Blasey Ford testified openly before the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school 36 years ago. She had told only her husband and therapists in most of that time, but she decided that keeping her secret any longer did not serve the public interest: The person she was accusing could be appointed to the nation’s high court.

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