Institutional Sexual Abuse

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Much has been written about the subject institutional sexual abuse. A very famous example of institutional sexual abuse was the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has undergone extreme criticism and legal action for the cases involving priests who known to be committing sexual offences against young church members. The Catholic Church not only allowed this to go on but in many instances covered the facts up allowing known pedophile priests to continue their work. This was one of the most highly publicized cases in institutional sexual abuse that nearly destroyed the Catholic Church.

You maybe wondering, what constituted institutional sexual abuse? One of the first points that needs to be present for the abuse to be classified as institutional is a relationship between the victim and the abuser. This relationship then gives the abuser legal access to the victim. In many cases of institutional sexual abuse, the two parties know each other. Some examples of this are doctor/patient, teacher/student, carer/patient and in the case of the Catholic church, priest/parishioner.

In some cases, the victim has even developed affection for the abuser. This can occur quite frequently in children. Many times the abuser has more contact with them than the actual parent. The abuser then uses this situation to his or her advantage. The abuser in this case provides an emotional outlet for the child sometimes preying on the victim's vulnerabilities.

Some abusers, who commit institutional sexual abuse, are in a position of authority over the victim. Again, we have teacher/student or correction officers over inmates. Institutional sexual abuse occurs when the offender takes a form of unjustified action toward the victim. If the action brings about harm or the potential of harm then it can be defined as institutional abuse. If the action is of a sexual nature then the action a be further defined as institutional sexual abuse.

You maybe wondering, is there a difference between institutional sexual abuse and sexual abuse? The answer is yes. If someone is out in public, a park or elsewhere, and are unfortunately sexually assaulted in some way, this is a form of abuse but not institutional. The two in this case are most likely strangers, with no or little prior contact. No prior relationship has been established. . The abuse is only institutional if the abuser has a form of legal access.

You may be wondering, what is an institution in this case? Most states legally define an institution as a facility, either publicly or privately funded. Examples are schools, hospitals, treatment facilities, day cares, churches and prisons or other detention centers.

Institutional sexually abuse can be difficult to prove. As stated before, some victims actually develop affection for the abusers, receiving more care and attention from them then they would normally get from friends and family. However, it is possible, if you suspect someone you know may be suffering from institutional sexual abuse contact the appropriate child and/ or adult protective services in your area. You may want to even consider the police and getting legal advice. What ever you do, don't hesitate; nstitutional sexual abuse can cause permanent emotional damage. Do something before it's too late. Contact an institutional sexual abuse attorney today.


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