Pay Victims of Sex Abuse

Letter to Editor
September 18, 2004

As a social worker who has worked with victims of priest pedophiles for more than 10 years, I am appalled at the Diocese of Rockville Centre's decision to cut off their therapy payments ["Support groups for priest victims," News, Sept. 8].

The Rev. Robert Batule wrote to one victim, "After conferring with psychiatrists here, I have reached the determination that two years of cost-free counseling has met our goal of assisting victims of sexual abuse."

Who are the "psychiatrists here" who make such blanket statements about patients they have not seen?

Their remarks are unprofessional, at best. Lurking behind this decision is the blame-the- victim strategy used so often to intimidate people who come forward.

In the same article, Bishop William Murphy mentions the expenditure of $193,000 for counseling. This is far less than he spent renovating his own residence.

The sad reality is this: Most victims of sexual abuse usually suffer for the rest of their lives and will probably need therapy, on and off, for years. There should be no question about payment. Justice demands it.

Sally Butler



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