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Abuse of children causes lifelong injury

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Posted: Saturday, April 28, 2012 12:00 am

The trial of Michael Kelly in Stockton evoked an emotional response from some of the communities of Lodi and Lockeford. I do not wish to revisit the blow-by-blow retelling of the trial; the unanimous verdict of the jury and the flight by Kelly to Ireland settled that question.

I would like to explore one myth that lawyers and victims bring priests and church officials to court for no other reason than to gain money. Nonsense.

I am a survivor of rape and abuse by a priest when I was 13. The rape and assault on a 10-year-old boy such as Travis Trotter in Stockton should shock all who hear of it. The abuse causes lifelong injury. Childhood is robbed of its wonder and exploration. Social relations are deformed — relationships are damaged. Depression and nightmares are constant companions. Anxiety diminishes your life each day. Fear paralyzes every action. Sadness colors every bright experience. Anger explodes with little cause, harming all who are within the blast — including ourselves. Some victims are so overwhelmed that they sink into severe depression, never to emerge to life, only to try to cover their pain with drugs and alcohol. Others never see a way out and commit suicide.

As a child, you don't have the resources to understand what happened. No person wants the memory of such horrific abuse.

Every child is precious — don't let another child be destroyed by dismissing their complaints. It is the responsibility of all of us to protect children.

Tim Lennon

San Francisco

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