Britain, Catholic Church, Christianity, Crime, Education, Rape, Sex

State Rape: It’s not just the Catholic church which has sex abusers

Suzanne Harrison

Suzanne Harrison pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a pupil

The Catholic church has rightfully been criticised for its harbouring paedophiles and protecting them from the law. However, child rape is also happening at an alarming rate in schools, including State schools. Yet it goes under-reported. James Garry asks why?

Suzanne Harrison, aged 38, faces the possibility of a jail sentence for having an affair with a fifteen year old girl. Ms Harrison is a school teacher. The fifteen year old was one of her pupils.

When I read this story in the papers, I got the feeling that over the past few years I’ve encountered an abundance of stories about teachers having sexual relationships with their pupils or sexually abusing them. Why, I wondered, is there not such a fuss made about these incidences of statutory rape when they occur in our schools?

Certainly, the horrific abuses of children perpetrated by the Catholic church have rightfully been exposed. But it seems to me that the horrific abuses of children perpetrated in schools haven’t received the same sort out outrage.

I think this is about fashion. It is fashionable for our secular society – and its metropolitan liberal architects – to seek to efface Christianity from our country. They rightfully heap opprobrium onto the Catholic church for its abuse of children but they are strangely silent when the State is caught abusing the children in its custody. Could it be that the child-abuse scandal in the Catholic church is convenient to the liberal-left as a means of attacking Christianity in general? Why else this selective excoriation of the Catholic church?

The simple answer is that the Christian faith equals bad and the State equals good in the minds of the liberal-left. It is slightly inconvenient for the liberal-left that it is the Roman church which is embroiled in scandal and not the Anglican one.  Not to worry. It’s all Christianity and a blow against one denomination is a blow against the other.

The sad truth is that abuses of children occur irrespectively of whether an organisation is spiritual or secular, whether it is owned by the State or by a Church. If the liberal-left ceases to focus selectively on Church sexual abuse we might realise how common State sexual abuse of children is too:

Suzanne Harrison abused two children in a Colchester school. Nigel Leat, a teacher in a Somerset primary school pleaded guilty to 36 sexual offences against children. David Thorley, head teacher of a primary school in Pembrokeshire, was convicted of nine assaults against children. Jo Casey of Wareham Middle School was jailed for sexually abusing two boys at the school. Kevin Hughes of Lyndon School was suspended and is due in court to face nine charges of child abuse. Peter Shotton was sentences for sexually abusing three boys at his school. Music teacher Christopher Killen was convicted for fondling a female pupil in the shower.

These sexual abusers were convicted in the last four years. I could have provided many more examples from such a short period of time. A few stories make the national press (such as the case of Nigel Leat and Suzanne Harrison) but mostly the stories barely get reported beyond the local records, gazettes and observers.

I accuse the left-liberal media of a bias in reporting child sex abuse cases. I accuse them of selectively reporting child sex abuse in the Catholic church in order to sustain an attack against the Christian faith.

All child abuse is loathsome. Perhaps the liberal-elite doesn’t want attention focused on the schools in which the sexualisation of children is encouraged by creepy sex-education programmes.

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About James Garry

James Garry is a political writer and commentator. He is the chief editor of Poltics On Toast a political magazine with a right-wing editorial bias. He believes that Britain should return to social, moral and political conservatism and that the changes since the 1960s Cultural Revolution should be undone. He wants out of the European Union and he wants capital punishment visited upon murderers, rapists and drug dealers. He is not a Thatcherite or a free-marketeer. He considers David Cameron and the rest of the Tory brigand to be liberal imposters. His other writings can be found on his personal blog James Garry on Politics in Britain and Hackeryblog

Discussion

6 thoughts on “State Rape: It’s not just the Catholic church which has sex abusers

  1. James,

    The systematic cover-up by the Catholic Church has only relatively recently been revealed. Hence, why I think there has been more concentration in the press (not only left-leaning newspapers) than the stories you mention.

    Not only this, but the cover-up by the Church makes the story have broader meaning than those within schools. And, schools have not sought to cover-up abuse, look at the number of prosecutions you have been able to cite. Can we say the same of the Church? Absolutely not.

    Posted by seanmchale1986 | August 18, 2011, 9:46 am
  2. Sean,

    Stories of such Catholic Church scandals have been rife since the 1980s onwards. The “cover up” scandal may be a new thing, but priestly abuses aren’t.

    My concern is that there is an imbalance in reporting that extends beyond the last few years and before the “cover up” scandal.

    These abuses aren’t unique to Catholic organisations but occur also in State-owned institutions and in secular institutions yet they are reported as though it is a Catholic disease.

    Whether schools have been open about their own abuses is neither here nor there. In fact, if schools are open about such abuses then we should be more familiar with them than of Catholic Church abusers, seeing as they operated a clandestine cover-up of abuse. But we aren’t as familiar with them.

    State school child abuse just doesn’t get the same attention and it is right to ask why. Most of the stories I sourced are from local rags. Only some stories become a national interest, usually when the crimes are especially shocking (e.g., Leat) or when a woman is the abuser (e.g., Harrison).

    Professor Phillip Jenkins of Pennsylvania University cited a shift of attention in the media towards the Catholic church which occurred in the 1980s. The media helped create, and lodge into the public conscience, the image of the abusive priest and forged a very strong association between child abuses and the Catholic Church. It therefore became a “Catholic” crisis. Jenkins found evidence of 100s of cases of non-clerical child abuse that were under-reported, confirming his theory that there is an imbalance in reportage.

    Posted by James Garry | August 18, 2011, 12:20 pm
  3. I am open to correction here, but is it not the case that the Catholic Church cover-up was known about and orchestrated at the highest levels? Whereas, this was not the case in state institutions.

    To look at a different way, a journalistic view may be that “The Church” “Child abuse” is simply a more engrossing and sellable story. That’s only an opinion though. But it is often the case when the state-connected stories seep into the press they are the ones which have some sort of voyeuristic appeal. (p7 of the Daily Mail for example after an op-ed on the “Sexualisation of Children”)

    Posted by seanmchale1986 | August 18, 2011, 2:28 pm
    • “I am open to correction here, but is it not the case that the Catholic Church cover-up was known about and orchestrated at the highest levels? Whereas, this was not the case in state institutions.”

      This isn’t really the concern of my article but… Yes, I believe that the cover-up did go high up into the Catholic hierarchy.

      Maybe “Church” and “Child Abuse” is a more engrossing headline. Maybe the grip of hypocrisy is greater when it is holy men that perpetrate such abuses.

      But my suspicion is that the fashionable hatred of the Church – and the political motivation to destroy it – means that the attention to this scandal is greater than to similar examples of institutional abuse. I wonder if the relative lack of attention given to state institutions that have seen child abuse has anything to do with the lack of political will to destroy those institutions.

      Posted by James Garry | August 18, 2011, 8:37 pm
  4. Catholics always try to distract the public by pointing at other parts of society, but the Catholic church has by far the largest percentages of pedophiles in its ranks (according to its own, internal, “honor system” John Jay report) of any institution in history other than prison. Those numbers, which say only 4% of priests are pedophiles, are under-reported. For instance, the LA diocese refused to report, then paid “hush money” to 500 victims four years later. Also, the statistics included every new priest. If they only included the priests that were there for the whole duration of the study, the number becomes a whopping 8-10%

    Of course, in prison they at least have an honor code against pedophiles. The Catholic church doesn’t. Bishops hide them, even in 2011 as proven in Philadelphia and KC. The congregation tries to minimize the importance of it, or tries to point to other places, but they never have any proof. They are just trying to distract people.

    The Catholic church is by far the largest pedophile protection program in history. That’s why you hear about it all the time.

    Posted by Patrick O'Malley (@617patrick) | August 18, 2011, 8:17 pm
    • So… what does this have to do with my point that secular and State institutions experience many cases of child sex abuse that go under-reported?

      Perhaps Mr O’Malley – who talks of Catholic abuse in the US – doesn’t realise that I am talking about the British Left’s fashion for knocking the Church and for paying less attention to sexual abuse cases in British State schools than it ought to.

      Shocking as Mr O’Malley’s statistics are, I fear he has missed the point altogether: No one here is trying to attenuate or dispute the scale of the Catholic Church’s crimes.

      The point is that the British left are selectively reporting Church abuse to the detriment of those abused in secular and State institutions.

      Posted by James Garry | August 18, 2011, 8:52 pm

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