IN THE NEWS
Marci Hamilton | August 16, 2018
The Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sex abuse in six dioceses is a call to action, in part because so few indictments flowed from its documentation of over 1,000 victims and 300 perpetrator priests. It details enormous injustice and institutional malfeasance, but we are left with only two indictments of perpetrators. The institution and the bishops once again have been permitted to skate free . . .
Marci Hamilton | August 16, 2018
Attorney General Josh Shapiro issued an extraordinary grand jury report detailing sexual abuse going back 70 years in six Roman Catholic dioceses in the state of Pennsylvania. The report itself is nearly 900 pages while the responses appended add another 450 pages. Here it is. Pennsylvania now has the distinction of having every Catholic diocese subjected to a grand jury investigative report: Philadelphia, then Johnstown/Altoona, and now the rest of them. This monumental achievement fills in more details of arrogant and thoughtless bishops, craven pedophile priests, and a system that rewards the secrecy that endangers children
"Attorney General Josh Shapiro has released a monumental report on the clergy sex abuse that has destroyed Pennsylvania children's lives for decades," said CEO and Academic Director of CHILD USA Professor Marci Hamilton.
Deb Erdley | August 10,2018
“Even if they have a due process right, if the public has a compelling interest that right comes first. The public definitely has a compelling interest in learning the identities of child predators who have not been identified in the public yet,” Hamilton said.
I. DeJesus | August 8, 2018
"'Parents deserve to know who is endangering their children and how. Pennsylvanians only know about the child sex abuse in the Philadelphia and Johnstown/Altoona dioceses, at Penn State, and at the Solebury School, because prosecutors took the lead and issued grand jury reports detailing the dangers that children had suffered,' said Marci Hamilton, CEO and a director of CHILD USA."
I. Keane | August 3, 2018
"The sexual abuse charges faced by 67-year-old Rockland County gymnastics coach Joseph Lewin involving the underage girls he coached has many parents and guardians asking themselves: how can this be prevented?
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Parents give their trust to an array of adults who come in contact with their children on a daily basis, from coaches to adult volunteers, tutors, staff members and even teammates.
So how do parents know their kids are safe?"
M. Boorstein | July 24, 2018
"... the question of how wide the net of legal responsibility for children goes remains central in that case, said Marci Hamilton, an attorney with Child USA, a think tank aimed at preventing child abuse. "
D. Moskovitz | July 24, 2018
"Hamilton said she doesn’t hold out much hope for what SafeSport can accomplish, and has even less hope than when she wrote those letters. She is still concerned by how SafeSport works, especially the lack of transparency in what it finds, because it means nobody but a select few people will ever know how systemic the issue within the Olympic community truly is."
S. Radcliffe | July 19, 2018
"Oregon is one of a handful of states that doesn’t allow religious exemptions from criminal or civil charges for medical neglect of children.
As of last year, though, 43 states had some level of exemption for parents who withhold medical care from their children on religious grounds, according to CHILD USA."
Marci A. Hamilton | July 19, 2018
"The litigation over the heartless separation of children from their parents at the border has been focused on the rights of the adults, the parents. That is par for the course in our society. Adults prefer and protect adults on a routine basis, and children tend to receive second-order status even on a good day. That is not to say that children don’t have emerging rights."
Marci A. Hamilton | July 5, 2018
"The media and the public are hyper-focused on the impact of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement on whether Roe v. Wade will be overruled. Many correctly assume the decision is at risk. That seems to me obvious, though the jury is out on whether the newly configured Court would overrule Roe or adopt an interpretation that makes it toothless, thereby letting the states cut the right to abortion down to a nub. A weak right is not terribly different in practice from a nonexistent right. But Roe is a distraction from the larger agenda underlying this fight."
Marci A. Hamilton | June 28, 2018
"Tellingly, the Supreme Court issued its decision upholding President Donald Trump’s travel ban, Trump v. Hawaii, on the same day that it gave crisis pregnancy centers the right to exclude information about abortion to pregnant women in NIFLA v. California. I don’t think the Court was conscious of the irony of pairing these two announcements, but ironic it was."
Marci A. Hamilton | June 21, 2018
"The images were disturbing—children crying, suffering, sitting in what amount to cages. The Trump administration was in its “zero tolerance” zone and stripping children from their immigrant parents as they crossed the border. Looking back, there seemed to be an assumption that no one would notice or care that Latin American children were being treated to subhuman treatment by United States authorities."
Marci A. Hamilton | June 2018
In the recent hour-long film, Founder and CEO of CHILD USA, Marci Hamilton, gives insight into one of the biggest clergy sex abuse scandals of all time.
Marci A. Hamilton | June 12, 2018
"The Trump Administration has been engaging in the practice of separating children from their parents at the border. Texas courts are filling up with immigrant parents who have had their children ripped from their arms. Neither the children nor the parents are told where the other is or when they will be reunited if ever. The Administration favors this approach as a “tough deterrent” to illegal immigration. That is the view in an adult-centric universe, which discounts children’s suffering and treats children as nothing other than a means to the ends of adults."
Marci A. Hamilton | June 7, 2018
"The United States Supreme Court predictably handed down the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission decision in June, toward the end of the Term. The case—which on its surface posed the question whether a bakery could turn away a gay couple seeking a wedding cake—didn’t decide that issue. Instead, the Court, in an opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, pivoted to familiar ground for the Court: robustly protecting the right to believe anything at all combined with a warning that conduct can be regulated."
Joshua J. McElwee | June 6, 2018
"Pope Francis has been dealing over recent months with what has seemed like an unending saga of the Catholic clergy sexual abuse crisis in Chile. After being criticized for saying abuse victims had committed "calumny" during his January visit to the country, the pope has since admitted making "serious mistakes," met with Chilean victims in Rome, and received offers of resignation from most of the country's bishops after a three-day group encounter at the Vatican."
Kenneth Lovett | June 5, 2018
"An alternative bill pushed by the Senate Republicans to make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice as adults cleared a key committee on Tuesday.
It’s the first time a Senate committee has taken up the issue, though that was hardly comfort to many advocates who oppose it."
Christian Red | June 1, 2018
"Attorney and sex abuse victims advocate Marci Hamilton made certain that Rick Butler would not step foot on the Walt Disney/ESPN Wide World of Sports properties in Orlando, Florida when a girls’ youth volleyball tournament gets underway later this month."
Alexandra Ilitch | May 31, 2018
"Marci Hamilton, the founder and CEO of the national nonprofit CHILD USA has been researching this topic for more than two decades.
'Apparently there are huge problems about sex abuse in sports in the state of Michigan or the coaches wouldn’t be so fearful,' she said.
'Many states have many more categories and include coaches for example, unlike Michigan,' Hamilton said.
Justice for victims in Michigan is small, she said. So is the number of mandated reporters.
Clergy abuse victims settle with Twin Cities archdiocese for $210M
J. Hopfensperger and R. Olson | May 31, 2018
"The wrenching bankruptcy that forced a reckoning on the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for decades of clergy sexual abuse has culminated in a $210 million settlement for roughly 450 victims, the largest of its kind nationwide."
J. Seidel and M. O'Brien | May 30, 2018
"Walt Disney World Resorts, which hosts the Amateur Athletic Union’s national volleyball tournament, said on Wednesday that west suburban coach Rick Butler is “no longer welcome” on its property."
Ivey DeJesus | May 29, 2018
"The landscape has changed drastically across the country and world since recent clergy sex abuse scandals out of Boston and Philadelphia. The pending grand jury report into allegations across six dioceses in Pennsylvania come amid a changing landscape."
Marci A. Hamilton| May 24, 2018
"I suppose lawmakers’ deference to big business is in the air. The United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion by Judge Neil Gorsuch in Epic Systems v. Lewis, swept away hope this week that employees would be able to form class actions or join forces against oppressive employer practices. Instead, arbitration clauses in agreements pit the lone employee against the employer. In the same vein,the House of Representatives today sent to President Trump a bill to relax restrictions on banks."
Larry Nassar to USA Gymnastics' cover story: 'Can we just say I'm sick?'
T. Evans and M. Kwiatkowski | May 24, 2018
"USA Gymnastics officials agreed to provide what Larry Nassar's attorney called "false excuses" for his absence from major gymnastics events in 2015, rather than disclose to parents and gymnasts that Nassar was under investigation for child sexual abuse."
April 25, 2018 | Press Release
“Game Over: Commission to Protect Youth Athletes,” Funded in Large Part by $300,000 Investment from the Foundation for Global Sports Development, to be led by University of Pennsylvania-Based CHILD USA. Commission Comprised of National Experts in Child Sex Abuse, Law Enforcement, Academia, Trauma, Sports and Investigative Journalism.
Professor Marci A. Hamilton | April 21, 2018
"I've been working on this issue for nearly twenty years, and the reason I am so passionate about it is because the primary reason that most victims of child sex abuse never get access to justice, is just the deadline."
Associated Press | April 12, 2018
"While 39 states and the District of Columbia have changed their rules, those like New York have more work to do, said Hamilton, who also is the CEO of CHILD USA, a group that researches child abuse and neglect policy."
March 23, 2018 | Press Release
In Partnership with The Foundation for Global Sports Development, CHILD USA will examine the prevalence of child abuse and neglect in elite athletic organizations to determine how to best prevent it.
March 21, 2018 | Trudy Ring
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the famously anti-LGBT Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, is arguing against pending state legislation that would offer a window for survivors of sexual abuse to sue over crimes that happened decades ago.
Dolan made an unannounced visit to the state capitol in Albany to urge lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo not to support a “lookback” provision in the Child Victims Act, which would give survivors a one-year period to bring suits over decades-old incidents of abuse.
March 21, 2018 | Kenneth Lovett
ALBANY— Gov. Cuomo stood up for survivors of childhood sexual assault on Wednesday, and pushed back against Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s statement that a lookback provision for them to revive old legal claims would be “toxic.”
"These victims have been denied their day in court for far too long and we stand with them," Cuomo told the Daily News in a statement. “The arguments against a lookback do not stand up against the experience of every other state and this debate only wastes time and delays justice.”
Mahita Gajanan | JAN. 19, 2018
"Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman confronted Larry Nassar, the disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor who she says sexually abused her for years, with a blistering statement in court on Friday."
Taylor McAvoy | January 17, 2018
"A bill passed in the State House of Representatives last year offers some hope for people who were sexually assaulted years ago and want to see the ones who harmed them prosecuted. But that hope faces some difficult challenges in the Senate."
The list keeps growing of powerful men accused of sexual abuse, assault, or harassment. In historical order, just to name the headliners, Bill Clinton, Fr. Paul Shanley, Jerry Sandusky, Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, Roy Moore, Al Franken, John Conyers, and Charlie Rose have all faced accusations of this nature. Thank God. This is the moment that will change history, because the “kings” of our culture are being brought to the public square and revealed for what they are–craven abusers of power. Click the link above to keep reading.
The social media campaign #MeToo has been an extraordinary space where victims of sex harassment and assault have found their voices. These victims are inspiring and you just want to believe that something good must come out of all of the pain that they have had to endure so long in silence. While the disclosures are amazing, they aren’t enough to ensure a Harvey Weinstein never happens again. Click the link above to keep reading.
As the Roy Moore saga continues to unfold in Alabama, CHILD USA is cited by the Washington Post as the authority on child sex abuse statutes of limitations. In Alabama, the statute of limitations for bringing felony charges involving sexual abuse of a minor in 1979 would have run out three years later, and the time frame for filing a civil complaint would have ended when the alleged victim turned 21.
Last week, McKayla Maroney tweeted a message with the hashtag #MeToo, alleging she was sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. With her disclosure, she not only identified herself as one of the more than 140 women who have said they've been abused by Nassar, who has plead guilty to child pornography charges, but she also re-emphasized that the ubiquitous nature of abuse reaches even the highest levels.
Marci Hamilton, one of the country’s leading church-state scholars, has been appointed a Penn Arts and Sciences’ Professor of Practice in the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program. Practice professorships bring accomplished leaders from business, government, or the arts into Penn Arts and Sciences’ classrooms to complement the expertise of the School’s standing faculty. Hamilton also serves as a Fox Family Pavilion Senior Fellow in Residence in the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program’s Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society (PRRUCS) and is Co-Chair of the Common Ground for the Common Good Program.
Medical exemptions tripled once a stringent law went into effect for kindergarteners. A look at where it’s coming from suggests something sinister within anti-vaxxer strongholds. The numbers are in on California’s tough new vaccination law, and they reveal a disturbing phenomenon. In June 2015, the state enacted Senate Bill 277, mandating that at the beginning of the next academic year, all students had to be vaccinated, including those in private, charter, and parochial schools. It was one of the most restrictive immunization bills in history, and a response to a measles epidemic that started in Southern California at the end of 2014 and eventually spread into 25 states and two Canadian provinces, infecting hundreds of people, mostly children.
In the early Eighties, Andy King, the coach of the Seawolves, a swim club in Danville, California, instructed Debra Denithorne, aged twelve, to do doubles — to practice in the morning and the afternoon. King told Denithorne’s parents that he saw in her the potential to receive a college scholarship, and even to compete in the Olympics. Tall swimmers have an advantage in the water, and by the time Denithorne turned thirteen, she was five foot eight. She dropped soccer and a religious group to spend more time at the pool.
Re “The Vatican’s Failure in the Abuse Scandal” (editorial, July 7):There will be no meaningful changes in the Roman Catholic Church as it pertains to child sex abuse until Pope Francis invites the legal system into the cases by supporting global statutes of limitation reform.
Imagine you’re the president-elect of the United States and you wanted to know more about vaccine safety. Who would you turn to? You could turn to Nancy Messonier, who heads a team of researchers at the country’s leading center for the study of vaccines: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Or you could turn to any one of a number of academic researchers who are involved with the Vaccine Safety DataLink, a computer-linked system of medical records that can determine vaccine-safety issues in real time as new vaccines are first used by American children . . . Donald Trump, unfortunately, didn’t turn to any of these groups or individuals . . . .
The Framers of the Constitution fundamentally understood that people are inevitably tempted to abuse power and that concentrations of power are dangerous. To put it a bit more simply: power must be checked, or it will run amok, and that goes double for combinations of power.
The wild ride of this year’s presidential election has left many looking for landmarks that will guide their choice for the next president. One place to figure out who stands for what lies in the 2016 Republican and Democratic Platforms. So I decided to explore how each party deals with children.
New York is "a national shame" when it comes to getting justice for victims of child sex abuse, say people who helped change the antiquated law in other states. The Empire State lags behind states like Georgia, Massachusetts, Florida and Utah, all of which in the past several years have passed bills that lengthened the time victims have to bring their cases to court.
When Allison Finch, a 36-year-old mother of five from Houston, had her first son, in 2007, she had him circumcised before taking him home. But the circumcision was cosmetically uneven, a result that left her regretting the choice to have the procedure done in the hospital. “We weren’t overly impressed, but we didn’t know that there was another way,” she says. So when their second son, Henry, was born in 2011, she and her husband Robert went a different route. Although they identify as practicing Christians, the Finches decided to have their baby circumcised by a mohel, a Jewish person trained to perform a ritual circumcision, or brit milah (Hebrew for “the covenant of circumcision”). In keeping with Jewish tradition, the family asked the mohel to circumcise Henry on the eighth day of his life.
Jean Mercer | June 21, 2012
Henning Jacobson just said no. Even though Massachusetts required it, he did not want to be vaccinated. He had had a bad reaction to a vaccine, and he opposed vaccination in general. Refusing to back down, he fought the state law all the way to the Supreme Court. And Mr. Jacobson, a minister in Cambridge, lost. He was not forcibly immunized, but he did have to pay . . .
This paper outlines an unconventional treatment for mental illness, the exorcism or deliverance ritual used by Pentecostals and some other charismatic Christians. Deliverance beliefs and practices are based on the assumption that both mental and physical ills result from possession of the sufferer by demons, and are to be treated by the expulsion of those demons. Deliverance practitioners claim to treat schizophrenia, ADHD, and Reactive Attachment Disorder, and believe that these problems are related to sins either of the person in treatment or of an ancestor. Clinicians and counsellors dealing with clients who partially or completely espouse deliverance beliefs may need to understand their worldviews and to discuss their belief system before managing to engage them in conventional mental health treatments. Unusual ethical problems may also be met in the course of such work.