CSP Director Responds to Abuse Study in NYT

A study recently published by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice argues that the abuse against children by priests or elders in the church resulted from the influence of the sexual environment of the '60s and '70s. Dr. Roberta Shafter, Director of the Children's Safety Project works with victims of abuse and their families every day who must overcome such experiences and know the trauma that comes with them.

The molestation of children does not represent a rational thought process, says Dr. Shafter in her letter to the editor recently published in the New York Times, responding to its coverage of the study.

The '60s and '70s may have been a time of cultural revolution, but it also represents a time of increased study of abuse in general. For a long time, society did not even acknowledge child molestation as such. Around the 1980s, as people became more familiar with the psychological problems associated with child molestation, a greater number of cases were reported, often retroactively from offenses throughout the 60s. This is true both within the church and secular populations.

What cannot logically be implied from that is that the environment of the times would have been the catalyst for someone crossing the line of propriety with a child. Through education and treatment we hope to address the psychological issues that this study ignores.

Greenwich House Children's Safety Project provides therapy and counseling for young victims of abuse and their families. Utilizing a variety of services and methods our expert staff provides a caring, nurturing environment in which to work toward healing.

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