Thursday, November 1, 2012

What is Law For if Not to Protect the Weak?

The Boy Scouts of America have for nearly a century kept secret files on volunteers and employees who have molested children. Recently, the Boy Scouts have been ordered to make public many of the documents. In some instances, files were begun after civic authorities brought charges.  But in other instances, it was the BSA that held the only evidence of the abuse. Sometimes authorities were notified.  Sometimes they weren't.  According to the Los Angeles Times:

Victims often feel betrayed by the scouts who either never took action to protect others or who never reached out to apologize for the harm, or even to acknowledge the truth.

With these BSA revelations coming on the heels of decades of allegations of the Roman Catholic Church covering up child abuse by priests and the recent similar failure to report incidents at Penn State University, the question has to be: Why does the law so consistently fail in getting people with knowledge of these incidents to report them?  In all states, reporting is required by law.  Yet, those with the knowledge to put and end to the abuse stay silent.

Recently, a Connecticut physician was arrested and charged with failing to report child abuse.  His defense was that after reporting child abuse many times, he had lost faith in the child protective system to do any good.  What is the law for if not to protect the weak?

Related posts may be found here and here.

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