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Institutional Enablers: The Catholic Church As An Enabler to Abuse, Rape, and Child Predators

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Matylda Blaszczak

According to the Massey Law Firm, more than 19,000 survivors have come forward claiming abuse by priests. Many of these survivors feel as though they were abandoned. They feel abandoned by the institutions and people within those institutions whom they trusted would protect them. Widespread abuse within institutions like this is made possible by enablers. The purpose of this study is to explore the role of the Catholic Church, specifically in enabling child predators and to propose legislation and other measures to hold enablers accountable and prevent enabling in the future. Using mixed-methods this proposed research project analyzes interviews with survivors and reports of sexual assaults within the Catholic Church. By gaining a better understanding of how these sexual assaults were allowed to occur, we can begin to develop measures to prevent enabling. This study proposes four potential solutions: legislation, expanding mandatory reporting laws for all adults, rigorous in-person enabling training distinct from the standard online bystander training within institutions, and therapy and counseling for those involved in the assault and those that enabled the perpetrator. Those 19,000 survivors, and countless others, deserve to see the enablers who abandoned them held accountable.
Firm, Massey Law. ""How Much Has the Catholic Church Paid to Abuse Victims - Massey Law Firm: Scottsdale AZ."" Massey Law Firm | Scottsdale AZ, 13 Dec. 2021,
University / Institution: University of Utah
Type: Oral
Format: In Person
SESSION D (3:30-5:00PM)
Area of Research: Social Work
Faculty Mentor: Amos Guiora
Location: Union Building, PANORAMA EAST (4:30pm)