Today in the stories that are sure to piss you off, we have this one out of Britan, reported on by The Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is the UK government agency that, among other things, compensates victims of child abuse and sexual assault with taxpayer-funded money. But last month, the Sunday Telegraph reported that some of the children who had filed claims had been rejected because they supposedly gave “consent” before being assaulted.
That sounds awful. And when you hear the stories, it gets even worse
I don’t doubt it.
One case highlighted by [non-profit group] Victim Support involved a 12-year-old girl who was plied with alcohol, led into the woods and sexually assaulted by a 21-year-old man.
Despite the fact that the man pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 13, the victim was denied compensation.
This was because she had gone into the woods “voluntarily”, had not been a victim of violence, she emerged “happily” from the woods and that she had recently had sexual relations with another child around her own age.
You have got to be kidding me.
All of that is truly despicable. Of course this child was a victim. She was a child. Her outward demeanor throughout the ordeal is irrelevant. And her story was only one of many.
Enter the Catholic Church.
Oh dear god. What ungodly thing has that anti-Christian abomination gotten itself into NOW . . .
It turns out CICA is working with the Church to compensate victims of child abuse at the hands of priests. It’s unclear to me if taxpayer money is being used for this (and if so, why), but the same kind of stories are now turning up.
I really hope it is not the UK taxpayers paying for the diddling of the unholy scum. Because if that were the case . . . #InvadeTheVatican .
I said it before. And I will more than likely say it again.
One claimant was told by lawyers for the Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark that his abuse, which included rape and began when he was 15, “actually occurred in the context of a consensual relationship (albeit one the Claimant in retrospect now appears to regret)”.
The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told this newspaper that the use of the defence felt “insulting”. “I was below the legal age of consent anyway and there’s a grooming element to that kind of situation. It was totally disregarded and it made me feel really small,” he said.
It is less a defense than it is another method of covering up the madness, all the while letting the perpetrator get off Scott free.
Both he and another victim who was told she “consented” pushed back against the charges. They eventually won their appeals and received compensation. But it’s truly disturbing that CICA was using this argument at all. If the victims hadn’t fought back in court, they would have received nothing.
Church officials offered mild sympathy in a sanitized statement to the press:
In a statement, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Southwark said that “out of respect for each claimant’s privacy and the confidentiality of the legal process, the Archdiocese does not comment on individual case“, but added that it “supports the right of anyone who has suffered harm to seek compensation. Such claims are complex and often involve a number of difficult legal issues.“
Good for the victims for pushing the issue, and getting what is rightfully theirs. But I wonder about those that may not have had the strength (or means) to take on the challenge legally.
It also makes me wonder if the organization in charge of financial compensation of these cases has been corrupted. Indeed, it involves wearing some tinfoil. But if the church is willing to pay money to make many past cases of abuse go away, is it really that much of a leap to accuse it of buying off some of those in charge of holding it accountable?
This largely hinges on who is actually footing the bill, of course. If the taxpayers, then it’s hardly necessary. If the church itself, however . . .
There is often complexity in sexual assault cases. But when the victim is underage, the issue of whether or not they consented isn’t complicated. They didn’t. End of story.
Since 2012, The Independent reports, CICA has rejected payment claims to approximately 700 alleged victims of child abuse. It’s safe to assume they weren’t all rejected for the same awful reason, but we only know about these “consent” cases because non-profits working on the victims’ behalf brought them to the public’s attention.
How many more don’t we know about?
I think you could more than likely at the minimum, double the number. Cumulatively for the whole of the UK anyhow. And who really knows how high the number will go if you start adding up all the closet cases world wide.
What we see here seems to be nothing more than business as usual for the Catholic church. One of the least Christ like institutions there is. In more ways than one.
But there is a fitting way to end this piece. Can you guess what it is? You are right.
In conclusion, I may as well end on a high note.