ENGLISH FOR CONGRESS POSITION PAPER (Revised April 2014)

Preventing Child Abuse

The problem of child abuse is far more serious than most people know.  One-third of girls and one-fifth of boys will be abused before they reach age twenty.   Most of the abuse is conducted by individual perpetrators not affiliated with any group or organization.  In fact, 96% of child sexual abuse incidents are created by non-clerical persons, many of whom are related to their victims. However, about 4,500 pedophile priests have been identified in the Catholic church, which has deliberately ignored, denied, and attempted to cover-up the problem until the magnitude of abuse in Boston was exposed in 2002.   The average pedophile has about 100 victims during his career: multiplying this number by 4,500 means that there could be as many as 450,000 victims of pedophile priests alone over the past fifty years.  Over half of the bishops in this country have known and deliberately transferred pedophiles from one assignment or parish to another, thereby spreading the contagion of abuse.  About $1 Billion has already been paid out by the church to victims, with another $2 Billion in future settlements estimated  to be paid.  Over 50 suicides of victims of clerical sexual abuse have been recorded.

State Attorney Generals have attempted to deal with this criminal behavior, but the problem is national and a national response such as the Lindberg law that was passed to deal with kidnapping is needed.   The lack of attention from the Congress and the U. S. Department of Justice about the issue is inexplicable: although there has been child abuse of substantial magnitude in the boy scouts, that organization has undertaken major reforms to been eliminate this scourge. Instead, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is going after suspected cases of internet child pornography: those responsible for this behavior need to be investigated, but what and whom else is DOJ's internet surveillance also monitoring?  Why isn't it pursuing the known pedophiles in the country that are being shielded by their employers?   Is the DOJ's pedophile internet surveillance program merely a cover for widespread illegal snooping into private citizens lawful electronic correspondence?  Has  it also engaged in illegal surveillance as done by the NSA?

I propose that a joint Congressional commission be established similar to the Keafauver Commission that was authorized over fifty years ago to investigate the extent and activities of organized crime to investigate the problem of child abuse nationally and propose legislation to deal with this problem.  In cases where perpetrators have been shielded by others, those who have covered up or enabled perpetrators to continue with their criminal activities also should become liable for prosecution and punishment similar to drivers of getaway cars in bank robberies.  "Lindberg Law" companion legislation to authorize the FBI to investigate child abusers' relocation to other states to escape justice is needed.  In situations where tax exempt funds have been used to pay legal fees of perpetrators, hush money or award settlements to victims, income taxes should be levied on the organizations paying the fees or awards.  The costs of pedophilia are not a legitimate charitable expense that should continue to be subsidized through tax exemptions by the rest of society.  The DOJ's internet pornography surveillance program should come under the most rigorous Congressional scrutiny to insure that illegal monitoring of lawful private electronic communications also is not being conducted. Other countries have undertaken extensive investigations of these hideous crimes at the national level: why hasn't the United States?

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