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美國三大保險公司報導不僅天主教神父性侵信徒嚴重,基督新教的牧師情況也幾乎一樣!
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美國三大保險公司報導不僅天主教神父性侵信徒嚴重,基督新教的牧師情況也幾乎一樣!
報告:新教教會保險人每年處理260起性虐待案件
羅斯·法文| 2007年6月18日

這三家為美國大多數新教教會提供保險的公司在2007年6月18日表示,他們通常每年收到多達260份報告,其中有18歲以下的年輕人受到神職人員,教堂工作人員,志願者或會眾性侵案。(按現已是2021年,本文是翻找出的舊消息,以証明天主教與基督新教的教會同樣充滿污穢)

向美聯社發布的數字讓我們瞥見了長期以來一直難以確定的極端現象-新教會眾中的性虐待頻率。

自從五年前發生羅馬天主教的性虐待危機以來,宗教團體和受害者的支持者一直對這個數字感興趣。教堂透露,自1950年以來,已有13,000項針對天主教神職人員的可靠指控。

因為教派沒有天主教會那麼集中,所以新教徒的人數比較難掌握。實際上,許多會眾是獨立的,這使得舉報更加困難。

僅有的一些數字來自三家保險公司:教堂互助保險公司,GuideOne保險公司和兄弟會互助保險公司。

他們共同為165,495個教堂和禮拜中心提供保險,以防止對兒童的性虐待和其他性行為不當的責任,其中大部分是新教徒,但也有一些其他信仰。他們還為5500多家宗教學校,營地和其他組織提供保險。

這些公司代表了所有美國新教教會的很大一部分。根據美國宗教機構統計員協會的數據,美國大約有224,000個宗教團體,儘管這個數字不包括歷史上大多數黑人教派和一些其他教派,這些教派另佔了幾千個教區。

Church Mutual,GuideOne和Brotherhood Mutual各自向美聯社提供了有關性虐待指控的統計信息,儘管他們沒有提供支持性文件或確定報告是否可信的方法。

最大的公司,Church Mutual,在過去十年中,平均每年報告約100起涉及未成年人的性虐待案件。擁有大約一半互助會客戶的GuideOne表示,在過去的二十年中,每年平均收到160次針對未成年人的性虐待報告。

兄弟互助組織說,在過去的15年中,每年平均收到73例關於兒童性虐待和其他性行為不端的報告。但是,“兄弟會”沒有指定哪些受害者未滿18歲,因此不可能將其準確地添加到全部案件中。

兩家公司表示,濫用舉報並不總是意味著被告有罪,也未必會導致經濟裁決或和解。報告包括對神職人員,教堂工作人員和志願者的指控。

即使每年有數百起案件,“這個數字還是很小的。明尼阿波利斯步入式諮詢中心主任加里·舍納說,這甚至可能沒估算的一半。他是數百名新教徒和天主教神職人員不當行為案件的顧問。“很少有人被包括在教堂在內的任何領域進行性侵。我們知道實際上只有少量人提出來。”

位於愛荷華州西得梅因的GuideOne的總法律顧問和索償高級副總裁湯姆·法爾(Tom Farr)表示,大多數性案件都是通過法院命令的調解私下解決的。他說,賠償範圍從數百萬美元到為受害者提供諮詢服務不等。

迄今為止,新教教堂中規模最大的定居點之一是德州的前路德派牧師杰拉爾德·帕特里克·托馬斯(Gerald Patrick Thomas Jr.)案,幾年前,陪審團判給該部長的受害者近3,700萬美元(2,800萬歐元)。涉及托馬斯的其他先前和解協議額外花費了3200萬美元。

當保險公司大約在二十年前開始從教堂得到性侵的報告時,這些案件通常涉及很多年前發生的性虐待。保險公司表示,但是在過去的幾年中,所謂的濫用行為是最近發生的,這可能反映出人們對舉報濫用行為的認識有所提高。

保險官員說,在過去的二十年中,性侵害案件的數量一直保持穩定,但他們還表示,教會正在通過開展背景調查,在托兒所和遊樂區安裝窗戶以及要求至少兩名成年人來防止兒童遭受性侵害。帶孩子的房間。

受害者倡導組織表示,該國最大的新教教派南方浸信會,可以通過建立公眾和教堂可以接觸到的被控神職人員名單,來做更多工作來防止虐待。

“這些都是人們有權知道的事情,”受教士虐待的倖存者網絡的成員克里斯塔·布朗說。“防止這種犯罪的唯一方法是打破沉默守則,並在提出指控時保持絕對透明。”

在本周於聖安東尼奧舉行的南部浸禮會年會上,韋德·伯森牧師提出了一項可行性研究,以建立一個國家南部浸信會牧師數據庫,這些數據庫已“被嚴重指控,親自供認或依法被定性騷擾罪。或虐待。”

一個會議委員會將Burleson的動議轉交給了SBC執行委員會,該委員會將在明年的印第安納波利斯會議上向委員會匯報調查結果和建議。

南部浸信會主席弗蘭克·佩奇(Frank Page)說,領導人正在考慮多種選擇,以幫助教會保護兒童免遭虐待。

佩奇說:“我們相信聖經教導教會應該是一個自治的,獨立的組織。” “我們鼓勵教會在地方一級追究那些可能濫用了寶貴兒童和青年信任的人的責任。”

幾年前,代表越來越與保守派領導的南方浸信會保持距離的溫和派的德克薩斯州浸信會大會開始了一系列被指控為教會的神職人員,但沒有列出公眾。在受害者倡導者的壓力下,得克薩斯州組織剛剛發布了一些可能定罪的性罪犯的姓名,這些罪犯可能是當地教會的部長。

今日基督教倫理學的編輯,新奧爾良浸信會神學院的退休倫理學教授喬·特魯爾(Joe Trull)幫助德克薩斯會議建立了登記處,並說現在有11起涉及未成年人濫用神職人員的案件。

但他認為,這些只是“冰山一角”,因為教堂不必向註冊處舉報性侵案件,也不太可能這樣做。

特魯爾說:“我們遇到的問題是教堂只是沒有發送名字。” “在正常情況下,他們只是試圖將其保密。我們將必須更加積極主動,讓他們知道,如果他們沒有挺身而出,他們將幫助解決這個問題。”

___

網絡上:

南部浸信會公約:http://www.sbc.net/

祭司虐待者的倖存者網絡:
http ://www.snapnetwork.org/

阻止浸信會掠奪者的聲音:
http ://www.stopbaptistpredators.org/

Report: Protestant Church Insurers Handle 260 Sex Abuse Cases a Year
By Rose French | June 18, 2007
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The three companies that insure the majority of Protestant churches in America say they typically receive upward of 260 reports each year of young people under 18 being sexually abused by clergy, church staff, volunteers or congregation members.

The figures released to The Associated Press offer a glimpse into what has long been an extremely difficult phenomenon to pin down — the frequency of sex abuse in Protestant congregations.

Religious groups and victims’ supporters have been keenly interested in the figure ever since the Roman Catholic sex abuse crisis hit five years ago. The church has revealed that there have been 13,000 credible accusations against Catholic clerics since 1950.

Protestant numbers have been harder to come by and are sketchier because the denominations are less centralized than the Catholic church; indeed, many congregations are independent, which makes reporting even more difficult.

Some of the only numbers come from three insurance companies — Church Mutual Insurance Co., GuideOne Insurance Co. and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co.

Together, they insure 165,495 churches and worship centers for liability against child sex abuse and other sexual misconduct, mostly Protestant congregations but a few other faiths as well. They also insure more than 5,500 religious schools, camps and other organizations.

The companies represent a large chunk of all U.S. Protestant churches. There are about 224,000 in the U.S., according to the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies, although that number excludes most historically black denominations and some other groups, which account for several thousand congregations.

Church Mutual, GuideOne and Brotherhood Mutual each provided statistics on sex abuse claims to The Associated Press, although they did not produce supporting documentation or a way to determine whether the reports were credible.

The largest company, Church Mutual, reported an average of about 100 sex abuse cases a year involving minors over the past decade. GuideOne, which has about half the clients of Church Mutual, said it has received an average of 160 reports of sex abuse against minors every year for the past two decades.

Brotherhood Mutual said it has received an average of 73 reports of child sex abuse and other sexual misconduct every year for the past 15 years. However, Brotherhood does not specify which victims are younger than 18 so it is impossible to accurately add that to the total cases.

Abuse reports do not always mean the accused was guilty, and they do not necessarily result in financial awards or settlements, the companies said. The reports include accusations against clergy, church staff and volunteers.

Even with hundreds of cases a year “that’s a very small number. That probably doesn’t even constitute half,” said Gary Schoener, director of the Walk-In Counseling Center in Minneapolis, a consultant on hundreds of Protestant and Catholic clergy misconduct cases. “Sex abuse in any domain, including the church, is reported seldom. We know a small amount actually come forward.”

Tom Farr, general counsel and senior vice president of claims for GuideOne, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, said most abuse cases are resolved privately in court-ordered mediation. Awards can range from millions of dollars down to paying for counseling for victims, he said.

One of the largest settlements to date in Protestant churches involved the case of former Lutheran minister Gerald Patrick Thomas Jr. in Texas, where a jury several years ago awarded the minister’s victims nearly $37 million (euro28 million). Separate earlier settlements involving Thomas cost an additional $32 million.

When insurance companies first started getting reports of abuse from churches nearly two decades ago, the cases usually involved abuse that happened many years earlier. But over the past several years, the alleged abuse is more recent, which could reflect a greater awareness about reporting abuse, insurance companies said.

Insurance officials said the number of sex abuse cases has remained steady over the past two decades, but they also said churches are working harder to prevent child sex abuse by conducting background checks, installing windows in nurseries and play areas and requiring at least two adults in a room with a child.

A victims’ advocacy group has said the Southern Baptists, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, could do more to prevent abuse by creating a list of accused clergy the public and churches could access.

“These are things people are entitled to know,” said Christa Brown, a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who says she was sexually abused as a child by a Southern Baptist minister. “The only way to prevent this crime is to break the code of silence and to have absolute transparency when allegations are raised.”

At the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in San Antonio this week, the Rev. Wade Burleson proposed a feasibility study into developing a national database of Southern Baptist ministers who have been “credibly accused of, personally confessed to, or legally been convicted of sexual harassment or abuse.”

A convention committee referred Burleson’s motion to the SBC executive committee, which will report back with findings and a recommendation at next year’s meeting in Indianapolis.

Southern Baptist President Frank Page said leaders are considering several options to help churches protect children against abuse.

“We believe that the Scripture teaches that the church should be an autonomous, independent organization,” Page said. “We encourage churches to hold accountable at the local level those who may have misused the trust of precious children and youth.”

Several years ago, the Baptist General Convention of Texas, which represents moderates who have increasingly distanced themselves from the conservative-led Southern Baptists, started a list of accused clergy for churches, but not the public. Under pressure from victim advocates, the Texas group just released the names of some convicted sex offenders who may have been ministers in local congregations.

Joe Trull, editor of Christian Ethics Today and retired ethics professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, helped the Texas convention create its registry and says there are now about 11 cases involving clergy abuse with minors.

But he believes these are just the “tip of the iceberg” because churches don’t have to report abuse cases to the registry and aren’t likely to.

“The problem we’re having is that churches just weren’t sending the names,” Trull said. “In the normal scenario, they just try to keep it secret. We’re going to have to be more proactive and let them know if they don’t come forward, they’re helping to perpetuate this problem.”

___

On the Net:

Southern Baptist Convention: http://www.sbc.net/

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests:
http://www.snapnetwork.org/

Voice to Stop Baptist Predators:
http://www.stopbaptistpredators.org/

Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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