Tough is­sue

Houston Chronicle - - NATION | WORLD -

Re­gard­ing “Supreme Court is in ses­sion” (Ed­i­to­rial page, Wednesday): As an avid reader of the ed­i­to­rial page, I have no­ticed that there is one theme run­ning through the let­ters about the Brett Ka­vanaugh hear­ing. They say “no cor­rob­o­ra­tion.” This re­flects a fun­da­men­tal mis­un­der­stand­ing of sex­ual abuse.

Think of all the chil­dren abused by Catholic pri­ests (or any other clergy). There is no cor­rob­o­ra­tion. Nor is there cor­rob­o­ra­tion in cases of mil­i­tary women abused by su­pe­ri­ors. Or in chil­dren abused by fam­ily mem­bers. Sex­ual abuse is done in pri­vate be­hind closed doors for a rea­son. The shame, em­bar­rass­ment and im­per­a­tive to keep the se­cret can re­side with the abused. The abuser is of­ten well thought of in his or her com­mu­nity and wishes it to stay that way. Trauma af­fects mem­o­ries, and when time and ther­apy al­low the abused to re­cover enough to ad­dress these is­sues, it is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to get cor­rob­o­ra­tion.

As much as it is un­com­fort­able to dis­cuss this, it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that how one be­haves sex­u­ally is sep­a­rate from how one does his or her job. You can be an ex­cel­lent, well-thought-of mem­ber of the clergy and abuse chil­dren. Just as you can have a ster­ling rep­u­ta­tion as a mem­ber of the ju­di­ciary and have abused some­one sex­u­ally. Deb­bie An­gel, Friendswood

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