When I teach my graduate Human Sexuality course, we begin each class with “Sex in the News.” Unfortunately, this typically means we’re talking about Sex Abuse in the News.
I was reading the Wall Street Journal this morning and was struck how much reporting there was on sexual abuse in a financial paper.
By starting today, I missed much of the coverage of the Maxwell trial which brings sexual trafficking into the spotlight. Today’s WSJ topics related to sexual abuse.
Gymnasts who were victims of sexual abuse settle for $380 million
I cannot imagine anyone who has not heard of the USA Gymnastics sexual abuse scandal. Or it’s perpetrator Dr. Nassar.
The brave ladies who were victims of abuse have come forward. And several actually testified in front of Congress.
Yesterday, after over three years of waiting, a settlement was reached for the victims. The settlement was delayed due to a bankruptcy filing by the USOPC.
In addition, there is also a provision that allows for survivors of the sexual abuse to have official roles in USA Gymnastics. Michigan State University had previously settled a claim for $500 million dollars in 2018 brought by victims of Dr. Nassar when he was working in his capacity as a sports medicine doctor at that university.
There is still an ongoing FBI investigation into the mishandling of the allegations of abuse by the Deputy Attorney General in 2015 and 2016.
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Sex Abuse in the News and the Canadian Military
Yesterday Canada’s Defense Minister Anita Anand issued a statement and an apology to the members of the Canadian military who were harmed by the lack of enforcement of sexual harassment and abuse claims in the military. The issue came to light earlier this year when allegations were made against several high-ranking military officials. Some of these allegations have led to criminal charges being filed.
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Pope to Acknowledge Abuse in Canada
Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has taken a different tact in handling the sexual abuse issues within the church.
The latest effort will come next year when he meets with indigenous Canadians. He will acknowledge the sexual abuse suffered by the children who were at church run indigenous schools.
While this is a move in the right direction, there are those who criticize the church’s efforts. The church only has laws in the US to remove a cleric after being found guilty of sexual abuse.
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