Someone asked me, did you know how widespread the abuse was?

Concerning whether there was an awareness of the extent of the abuse, in my experience within my immediate family and extended family, and in the victims community in SNAP, it is common for people to say they believed that their experience was an isolated one. And if they reported it to the diocese, they were told that theirs was the first such report against their perpetrator. In a number of cases these victims later learned, as the result of other victims coming forward, that they had not been the first, and that at the time of their reporting there had already been other – sometimes numerous – complaints. So it is clear to me that the issue was very well-known to the religious authorities within many dioceses. But the victims for the most part continued to believe it was isolated. Of course the requirement of secrecy regarding any settlement meant that they could not share their information.   I never knew about my siblings or my parents’ abuse until after 2002.

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