And these are the people we trust…

There are certain professions where we tend to automatically trust the people in them, namely the church and coaches.  However, over the past year, I think it is safe to assume that that level of blinded trust has given way to skepticism.  There has been several cases over the last few years that have revealed sexual abuse of children by priests, and it has also been revealed that the Catholic Church has tried to cover up some of these allegations by simply moving the priests to different locations- instead of dismissing or firing them. Thursday, “a Roman Catholic priest in Germany admitted to 280 counts of sexually abusing three boys over a several-year period.”

Furthermore, there have been two big allegations (and several other that are not so high profile) of coaches sexually abusing boys.  At Penn State there is Jerry Sandusky, and at Syracuse University (my alma mater) there is Bernie Fine.  Both have allegedly had inappropriate contact with several boys during their long careers at their respective schools, and both schools, allegedly, were made aware of this in the past, but nothing was done about it when the allegations first arose.

I guess the problem I have with these two scenarios – the allegations at the church and about coaches- is that this type of behavior has been known, yet it (largely) goes untouched. Now, why is that? If these allegations were brought against a bank clerk or school teacher or journalist, there wouldn’t be hesitation to suspend the person in question and investigate into the allegations.  Now I understand why people tend to trust priests and coaches more, and I understand its hard for people to comprehend such awful things happening in a church or while playing sports.  But priests and coaches are human too, and are susceptible to the same faults and misdeeds as others.  Now, that is not to say that all priests and coaches are child molesters- because saying that would be over vague and false; I’m just saying people need to take a second look at who they let watch their children.


About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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