A year of cataloguing child sex abuse stories

Child sex abuse and pedophilia are not a Catholic problem, they are not a priest problem, they are an epidemic problem throughout our society, and they happen far more often than you realize.

I like to follow current events and read a lot of news. Over the years, I noticed how many news stories actually do document sexual crimes against children, but fly under the radar and don’t get top story / front-page treatment – typically unless they involve a Catholic priest.

So I decided to spend a year, from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015, tracking them on this blog to prove a point: This isn’t a Catholic priest problem. This is a societal epidemic that we don’t pay enough attention to, and it’s far more pervasive in our public school system than we want to face up to. A recent USA Today year-long investigation showed that.

The results:

  • 220 stories
  • 50 involving (mostly public) schools
  • 4 involving Catholic priests
  • Most centered in Chicago region

I stumbled upon these stories during my normal news consumption. I did not seek them out. I did not create Google News Alerts. I didn’t search media web sites for them. My catalogue’s not scientific.

The list includes stories about people (almost all males) accused of consuming or possessing child pornography. While those individuals may not have been charged with actually abusing a child, a child WAS abused in the production of those materials. It is not a “victimless crime!”

I used WordPress’ categories feature to track them under the category Crimes. I also slapped the tags priest and school where appropriate.

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