Shedding light on the overlooked sexual abuse by nuns

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Catholic Church

The catholic church has been under growing criticism over the years due to allegations of sexual abuse. Many of these allegations have led to both criminal and civil cases. Part of the criticism concerns the statute of limitations for these cases. Some states, like Florida, have removed the statute of limitations in sexual abuse cases, making it easier for victims to come forward. Of course, most of the focus of the sexual abuse has been on priests being the perpetrators. However, it’s essential to shed light on others within the catholic church who perpetrated sexual abuse, and this includes the nuns.

Barriers to coming forward

Victims of sexual abuse committed by nuns can have trouble coming forward for the following reasons:

  • Stigma of accusing a nun
  • Fear of retribution
  • Statute of limitations

Sexual abuse by clergy members and the statute of limitations has started to be addressed by some states, but in many places, the limitation persists. Additionally, the stigma associated with accusing a nun of sexual abuse and the fear of retribution are obstacles that are harder to address. The majority of these abuse cases involve minors. Despite being the victim, they can unfortunately feel guilt or shame. It can be more difficult for minors to overcome these barriers and choose to come forward.

Steps in the right direction

In addition to addressing the statute of limitations regarding sexual abuse by nuns and other clergy, there are steps to take that can help:

  • Bringing awareness to overlooked cases
  • Advocating for survivors seeking justice
  • Offering a safe and supportive environment to victims

Sexual abuse in any circumstance is a tragedy, and shedding light on overlooked cases perpetrated by nuns is a moral duty. Systematically removing the barriers for these victims to come forward and offering a supportive environment to seek justice is essential.