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Module N – Situational and Organizational Factors Affecting Sexual Abuse, Types of Offenders, Grooming Techniques, and Excuses, Justifications, and Desistance.

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Presentation on theme: "Module N – Situational and Organizational Factors Affecting Sexual Abuse, Types of Offenders, Grooming Techniques, and Excuses, Justifications, and Desistance."— Presentation transcript:

1 Module N – Situational and Organizational Factors Affecting Sexual Abuse, Types of Offenders, Grooming Techniques, and Excuses, Justifications, and Desistance from Abuse Primarily for Dioceses N-1

2 Understanding Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests: Situational Factors Organizational Factors Types of Offenders, Grooming, and Excuses, Justifications and Desistance from Abuse N-2

3 Main Sources of Data Reports presented to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by the John Jay College Research Team, The City University of New York* The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, , March, 2011 The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States, , February 2004 N-3 * The two reports are based on data supplied by 97 percent of U.S. archdioceses and dioceses on all clergy accused of sexual abuse of minors

4 Part I. Situational Factors: Settings and Circumstances of Sexual Abuse N-4

5 Settings Where Victims First Met Priests Who Abused Them Location of First Meeting% Male Victims% Female Victims A.Church/Parish Related B.School/Teacher C.Home of Victim or Relative of Victim D.Other Institutions E.Other Total * % Based on Nature and Scope and victim survey of 7,142 boys and 1,762 girls. N-5

6 A. Church/Parish Related Location of First Meeting% Male Victims% Female Victims At Mass At an Altar Service/In the Rectory In the Parish Home of Cleric Choir Total N-6

7 B. Teacher/School Related Location of First Meeting% Male Victims% Female Victims Teacher (up to grade 6) Teacher (grades 7-8) Teacher (grades 9-12) Sunday/Parish School Other School Seminary Faculty/Administrator Total N-7

8 C. Home of Victim or Relative of Victim Location of First Meeting% Male Victims% Female Victims Home of Victim/Social Function with Victim’s Family Cleric is Relative Total N-8

9 D. Other Institutions Location of First Meeting% Male Victims% Female Victims Boys Club/Youth Recreation Work in Hospital In Jail/Prison/Youth Offender Residence Orphanage0.9 Total Location% Male Victims% Female Victims Other E. Other N-9

10 Physical Locations of Abuse Location of Abuse% Male Victims% Female Victims A.Church/Parish Related B.Residences C.Other Locations N-10 Note well: Clergy sexual abuse occurs in multiple settings  Most frequently it is in church-related locations  A wide range of residential contexts are used  Other public and private venues also are exploited

11 A. Church/Parish Related Locations of Abuse% Male Victims% Female Victims Cleric’s Home/Parish Residence In Church In School Cleric’s Office Congregate Residence Total N-11

12 B. Residences Location of Abuse% Male Victims% Female Victims In Victim’s Home Vacation House In Other Residences (Friends, Family) (Following residences also included in A above.) Cleric’s Home/Parish Residence Congregate Residence Total N-12

13 C. Other Locations Location of Abuse% Male Victims% Female Victims In a Car In a Hotel On Outings – Camp, Park, Pool Retreat House In the Hospital 0.7 Other Total N-13

14 Circumstances/Timing of Abuse Circumstances/Timing% Male Victims% Female Victims A.Church/Parish Related B.Social Event/Other Recreation C.Other Total * Categories are not mutually exclusive, as victims may have experienced abuse in more than one location. N-14

15 A. Church/Parish Related Circumstances/Timing% Male Victims% Female Victims Visiting/Working at Cleric’s Home/Rectory Church Service (Before, During, After) School Hours During Reconciliation Church Service, Training Total N-15

16 B. Social Event/Other Recreation Circumstances/Timing% Male Victims% Female Victims During Social Event During Travel Cleric Visited Home of Victim During Sporting Event Outings N-16

17 C. Other Circumstances/Timing% Male Victims% Female Victims During Counseling Hospital Visit During a Retreat Other N-17

18 Part II. Organizational Factors Relating to Abuse N-18

19 Priest’s Primary Duty or Role at Time of Abuse Duty or Role% Male Victims% Female Victims A.Pastoral/Parish Related B.Other Clerical Role C.School/Teaching Role D.Other Total100.0 * Based on Nature and Scope victim surveys of 7,864 boys and 1,863 girls. N-19

20 A. Pastoral/Parish Role Duty or Role% Male Victims% Female Victims Associate Pastor Pastor Resident Priest Saying Mass 1.2 Total N-20

21 B. Other Clerical Role Duty or Role% Male Victims% Female Victims Bishop, Vicar, Chancellor, Cardinal Seminarian/Seminary Administration/Faculty School/Institutional Administrator Chaplain Worked in Hospital Total N-21

22 C. School/Teaching Role Duty or Role% Male Victims% Female Victims Teacher (up to grade 6) Teacher (grades 7-8) Teacher (grades 9-12) Guidance Counselor Catechism Teacher Total N-22

23 D. Other Duty or Role% Male Victims% Female Victims Boys Club/Recreation Cleric is Relative Other Total N-23

24 Part III. Typologies of Abuse N-24

25 A. The Fixated/Regressed Typology The distinction between fixated and regressed sexual offending exists on a continuum and is not simply a dichotomous distinction N-25 Two issues that differentiate the types: The degree to which deviant sexual behavior is entrenched The basis of the psychological needs that lead to abuse

26 Fixated Offenders: Definition They have persistent, continual, and compulsive attraction exclusively to children from adolescence onward They are usually diagnosed with pedophilia, or recurrent, intense, sexually arousing fantasies of at least six months in duration involving prepubescent children N-26

27 Regressed Offenders: Definition They usually begin offending in adulthood Their offenses stem from stressors in the environment, which undermine self-esteem and confidence, and from disordered childhood relationships They are not necessarily motivated by sexual needs alone N-27

28 B. FBI Typologies: Situational Offenders, 1 RegressedOffenders have poor coping skills, target victims who are easily accessible, abuse children as a substitute for adult relationships Morally IndiscriminateOffenders do not prefer children over adults and tend to use children (or anyone accessible) for their own interest (sexual and otherwise) Sexually IndiscriminateOffenders are mainly interested in sexual experimentation, and abuse children out of boredom InadequateOffenders are social misfits who are insecure, have low self-esteem, and see relationships with children as their only sexual outlet N-28 Type of Offender Situational offenders Characteristics of Offenders

29 FBI Typologies: Preferential Offenders, 2 Seductive Offenders “court” children and give them much affection, love, gifts, and enticements in order to carry on a “relationship” Fixated Offenders have poor psychosexual development, desire affection from children, and are compulsively attracted to children Sadistic Offenders are aggressive, sexually excited by violence, target stranger victims, and are extremely dangerous N-29 Type of Offender Preferential offenders Characteristics of Offenders

30 C. Personality Characteristics of Clergy Offenders, 1 One review of literature maintained that clergy offenders displayed shyness, loneliness, and passivity MMPI scores illustrated the presence of depression, authority concerns, and addiction problems Rorschach results indicated greater affect constriction than normal Offending clergy exhibited the presence of over- controlled hostility more than non-offending clergy N-30 Several researchers have concluded that clergy offenders are truly unique in comparison to offenders within the general population.

31 Personality Characteristics of Clergy Offenders, 2 One of the specific clergy studies found that offenders came from backgrounds Characterized by rigidity and dysfunction with themes of abuse Had little insight into these areas Had insufficient training in the issue of transference/counter transference Had virtually no training or education concerning sexual abuse, domestic violence, addictive disease, or healthy professional boundaries, and Failed to appreciate how their history of trauma affected their professional life N-31

32 Onset of Abuse, 3: Overcoming External Factors that May Prevent Abuse from Occurring Abusers often create opportunities for the abuse to take place, such as socializing and building trust with the victim’s family Abusers must overcome the child’s resistance to the abuse, which is generally achieved through grooming tactics such as verbal and/or physical coercion, seduction, games, and enticements N-32

33 D. Grooming Behavior, 1 Examples of various tactics or methods used to entice victims:  seduction or manipulation  verbal or physical intimidation  provision of “benefits” such as tickets to sporting events, or taking them on trips, money, or other gifts  building of personal and family relationships Grooming is a pre-meditated behavior intended to manipulate a potential victim into complying with sexual abuse N-33

34 Grooming 2, Seduction and Testing of a Child This tactic is used when there is a relationship with a child and the child is accustomed to the affectionate expression of the offender The offender gradually extends the affectionate behavior, all the while “testing” the child’s response; if no overt resistance is observed, the sexual abuse continues N-34

35 Groom ing 3, Emotional Manipulation and Verbal Coercion These were the most common tactics used by offenders to groom their victims. Examples: -Doing favors for the victim in exchange for sex -Emotionally blackmailing the victim into compliance -Even though it may appear that there is room for negotiation on the part of the victim, the outcome always favors the offender N-35

36 Grooming 4, Catching the Victim by Surprise The offender orchestrates a situation to distract the victim or seizes the opportunity to abuse when it occurs A frequent situational opportunity arises when potential victims become altar servers or otherwise serve a role in the church Seizing the opportunity is most common and is usually the result of the offender’s frustration from waiting for the right time to initiate contact N-36

37 Grooming 5, Using Verbal or Physical Force The offender garners victim compliance through use of force The offender either commands the victim to perform sexual acts and/or physically forces the victim to engage in sexual acts This factor is more common among the most serious, repeat offenders N-37

38 Grooming 6, Disguising Sexual Advances This tactic disguised sexual advances in the context of playing a game. Example:  Offender will begin by tickling the victim and gradually progress to fondling While this approach may appear spontaneous, it has been well planned by the offender, yet orchestrated in a rather surreptitious manner N-38

39 Grooming 7, Using Alcohol and Drugs During the peak years of abuse, the use of alcohol and drugs by abusive priests increased significantly, but only for male victims Why this finding is important: The increase in the use of alcohol and drugs by the abuser is consistent with the increase in the abuse of males The increase in the abuse of males is consistent with the increase in the abuse of minors by priests The use of alcohol and/or drugs by the abuser is a feature of the “situational” or “regressed” child abuser, but not of the “fixated” abuser N-39

40 Grooming 8, Building Relationships with the Families of Victims Family relationships were built to gain trust Parents of abused children trusted the priests without reservation The children who were abused often accepted the abuse and did not report it for many years This lack of disclosure and concern about reporting the abuse was one reason it was able to persist N-40

41 Grooming 9, Effects of Grooming over Time Grooming tactics are premeditated and more methodically planned than spontaneous abuse  The offender is willing to wait months or even possibly years to accomplish his task  Eventually the victim becomes groomed to the point that engaging in sex with the offender is more or less automatic N-41

42 Part IV. Excuses for Behavior, Justifications for Behavior, and Desistance from Abuse N-42

43 Excuses for Behavior, 1: Denial of Responsibility Accused priests denied responsibility by making claims that  They were “not well” (using or addicted to substances such as alcohol and/or drugs)  They were compelled by “sick” or “sinful” impulses Forces beyond their control allowed them to deny full responsibility for their behavior, similar to legal claims of diminished capacity N-43

44 Excuses for Behavior, 2: Denying the Victim Accused priests denied the victim his or her status by claiming that the victim  Participated by being seductive or precocious, or  Did not fight back or say anything during the abuse Accused priests blamed the victim or the victim’s family for setting up conditions that allowed the abuse to occur by inviting him into their home, engaging him socially, and including him as part of the family N-44

45 Excuses for Behavior, 3: Denying the Victim Accused priests explicitly blamed victims by placing the onus of the initiation of the physical intimacy on the accuser  Referred to the abuse as a “relationship”  Noted that the victims were “willing” or “precocious”  Considered themselves the “victims” because they were accused of these indecent acts N-45

46 Justifications for Behavior, 1 Accused priests justified their actions by  Diminishing the wrongfulness of the behavior  Deflecting the harmfulness of the actions  Placing the responsibility for the deviance on others, sometimes actually condemning the condemners or criticizing their accusers  Accused priests downplayed what actually occurred or used positive language surrounding the “relationship” between themselves and the victim N-46

47 Justifications, 2: Minimization of Harm Viewed the sexual behavior as consensual, not harmful, and any behavior short of intercourse as not wrong because it was not sex Insinuated that a single incident of sexual behavior was not harmful; only repetitive acts caused harm Implied that the harm should be forgotten because of the time between the incident(s) and the accusation N-47 Many priest-abusers explained their actions as being part of “a relationship,” “not sex,” or that it “happened only once,” or “occurred long ago”

48 Justifications, 3: Condemning the Condemners This behavior is a deflective technique in which priest-abusers blamed church leaders for the abuse and/or the responses to the accusation One way of shifting the blame to the church hierarchy was to say how poorly church leaders prepared seminarians for life in the priesthood They also blamed church leaders for how ineffectively they dealt with accusations of abuse, which they considered reactive and unforgiving N-48

49 Justifications, 4: Condemning the Condemners This view essentially eliminated the penance aspect of reconciliation; some priests stated that public embarrassment was sufficient penance This attitude was particularly true for those who participated in psychological treatments, but were still removed, or served jail time N-49 This form of justification draws on the culture of forgiveness: accused priests noted that the Catholic practice of reconciliation should outweigh the sins and no one should take action against them in response to allegations

50 Justifications, 5: Condemning the Condemners They felt they were denied due process They believed that if only their leaders had done things differently in the past, this “crisis” would have been avoided In particular they felt they were poorly socialized to the life of a priest N-50 Some clergy accused of sexual abuse believed that the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People created a negative attitude particularly because of the zero-tolerance policy for those accused of abuse

51 Justifications, 6: Inadequate Seminary Preparation Accused priests indicated that had each man been adequately trained to undertake priestly life, they may have been able to make better choices, for example They may not have chosen to be ordained They might have been better equipped to adjust to the loneliness and realities of the life of celibate chastity, though no priest said that the vow of celibate chastity was the actual problem N-51

52 Deviance Disavowal: Appealing to a Higher Authority Accused priests believed that a sin or infraction must first be mended with a higher authority, that is, the authority of God Their particular focus was on relationship with God; through the sacrament of reconciliation the slate would have been wiped clean of sin They may have sought forgiveness also from parishioners and victims, or completed some distinct punishment or treatment and therefore that should be enough to end the process of condemnation However, they failed to recognize any harm to the victim N-52

53 Desistance from Abuse, 1: Why Abuse Stopped A small percentage of priest-abusers stopped because of internal reasons  Feeling guilty about their behavior  Having a sense of remorse  Feeling shame because of their behavior N-53 Desistance from abuse is affected by both internal and external influences

54 Desistance from Abuse, 2: Why Abuse Stopped More commonly, abuse stopped because of external reasons  being removed from the parishes and situations in which they could abuse Others stopped because of a combination of internal and external reasons  they earned a disgraceful reputation because of their behavior  they were “reformed” after treatment N-54

55 Summary Situational Factors Affecting Sexual Abuse - settings and circumstances of sexual abuse Organizational Factors - abusers primary duties and roles Types of Offenders - fixated and regressed; situational and preferential (FBI typologies) Grooming Techniques - seduction, testing, manipulation, coercion, surprise, force, and disguise Excuses for Behavior - denial of responsibility, denying the victim Justifications for Behavior - minimization of harm, condemning the condemners, inadequate seminary preparation Deviance Disavowal - appealing to a higher authority Desistance from Abuse - why abuse stopped N-55

56 Discussion Questions, 1 Taking into account the circumstances and timing that were most common when abuse was perpetrated, what instructions should be given to those who are or soon will be serving in ministry? Considering the settings and locations where abuse took place, what precautions should priests and other church leaders take about where they meet young people? What other safeguards should dioceses put in place to deter abuse in and around parishes? N-56

57 Discussion Questions, 2 What are the major differences between fixated and regressed sexual offenders? What differentiates situational from preferential offenders? How do clergy sex offenders differ from the general population of sex offenders? How can those responsible for the care of children and young people be made more aware of the characteristics of grooming behavior and how to respond when it occurs? N-57

58 Discussion Questions, 3 What are the essential ingredients of educational programs that dioceses should have in place to help prevent sexual abuse? What are some of the relevant factors to be aware of at the onset of abuse? How do the excuses and justifications for sexual abuse affect the persistence of the behavior? What are some ways supervisors can more readily detect abuse? N-58 Link to USCCB – and-youth-protection/charter.cfmhttp://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child- and-youth-protection/charter.cfm

59 Prepared by: Sister Katarina Schuth, O.S.F., St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, University of St. Thomas Technical Associate: Catherine Slight Consultants: Dr. Karen Terry and Margaret Smith, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, authors of major studies on sexual abuse for the USCCB; Dr. Mary Gautier, Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate N-59


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