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Denial of Responsibility and Failure to Act: Examining Persistent Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee  

Author:  Jason Spraitz.; Kendra Bowen.

Source: Volume 11, Number 01, Summer 2018 , pp.59-67(9)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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For many decades, officials of the Catholic Church have responded to reports of sexual abuse perpetrated by its clergy using covert and self-protective processes that often brought further harm upon survivors. In many instances, priest-offenders were shipped off to therapeutic retreat centers before being transferred to new parishes, where they were free to manipulate and abuse a new crop of child victims. Parents of these victims were gaslighted and discouraged from publicizing what had happened. Authors Jason Spraitz and Kendra Bowen here provide a close look into what took place in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, which recently released sealed documents exposing the sexually abusive behavior of over forty priests. They uncover five techniques that have been repeatedly used by diocesan officials to neutralize complaints of abuse.

Keywords: Clergy Child Sexual Abuse

Affiliations:  1: University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; 2: Texas Christian University.

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