State Sen. Janet Petersen deserves credit for taking on the issue of child sexual abuse in a difficult political climate, but the opposition she's encountering shows how little this crime is understood even by lawmakers and others who should know better.
|Capitol Building, Des Moines|
For obvious reasons, witnesses and official records regarding child sexual abuse are scarce even for recently perpetrated crimes. In reality, most abusers and enablers are discovered or convicted not through witnesses or documents but through the detailed independent corroboration of other victims, and therein lies the real fear that these claims will make it to a public courtroom.
Legal claims regarding decades-old abuse have to meet the same standards of evidence and case merit as any other civil action, so the legislative "window" is hardly a carte blanche for false or frivolous lawsuits. Child sexual abuse is an all-too common crime with devastating lifelong consequences for victims, and for Iowa's school boards and Catholic bishops to deny justice to these individuals is appalling and indefensible.
I agree completely. They seem to be okay with perpetuating the damage for which they were responsible by denying any kind of closure for historical victims. What an immoral and irresponsible thing to do. Money comes before people, obviously. And these are people who are building the next generation of society? God help us!