Stop Deaf Child Sexual Abuse
Sexual Abuse of Deaf Children in Catholic Schools Around the World
On Monday, November 25, 2019, two priests were sentenced to 45 and 42 years in prison for repeated sexual abuse of deaf children in a Catholic school in Argentina. However, for almost 50 years now, hundreds of deaf children have been reported sexually abused in Catholic schools in several countries around the world.
This website collects basic data on most known cases with the highest media impact: Argentina, Italy, Canada, Ireland, and the United States, among others. There are probably many other cases of sexual abuse that have not been reported.
This website is a call to action. It is necessary to do everything possible to prevent this from happening again, to encourage deaf victims to report the abuses they have suffered and to support them in overcoming their consequences.
Note 1: This website is not against the Catholic Church or religion in general. But nothing should be above the dignity of abused deaf children.
Note 2: Care has been taken in the search for information and sources are cited. If you find any wrong information, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Deaf Victims Said
First, the nun Kumiko Kosaka beat the children to test them. Those who resisted were saved. Those who were submissive ended up being abused (Sergio Salinas)
The nights on weekdays were terrible. There were rapes and abuses. It's a terrible thing, I don't have words to describe it (Daniel Sgardelis)
We never knew who the baby's father was. My niece got pregnant when she went to the Próvolo (Estela, aunt of a deaf victim)
You couldn't get out. It was like a prison. I felt so confused. Here I had Fr Murphy touching me (Steven Geier)
I wanted to kill myself, but I had to keep living with it, every year (anonymous deaf woman of 27 years)
I was 11 years old. He sodomized me and forced me to other sex games. It was a terrible experience that gave me serious psychological problems as an adult (Bruno)
The Journals Reported
The list of consequences is long, from anxiety and shame and depression, to drug abuse and difficulty earning a living and/or having sexual relations (Montreal Gazzette)
He said he was raped hundreds of times by a priest who was “rough” but careful not to get Consiglio’s blood [the deaf victim] on his cassock. Consiglio tried to jump out a school window when he was 12 but was stopped by a nun. He was treated with antipsychotics (Washington Post)
Many details are too horrific to be reported. Even today some of Smith's victims can't bring themselves to describe what he did to them without breaking down (The Guardian)
What Can We Do?
You can share this article on your social media to make society aware.
If you are deaf, sexually abused and live in the UK, you can contact Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse (with videos in BSL).
A class-action lawsuit may be filed. In some countries the statute of limitations for sexual offenses is many years, in some countries these offenses are never statute-barred.
Local organizations of Deaf people could develop and disseminate informational materials for the prevention of sexual abuse of deaf children.
International organizations of Deaf people, such as the EUD or the WFD, could adopt a statement of support for victims and condemnation of sexual abuse.
International organizations of Deaf people, such as the EUD or the WFD, could initiate some form of communication with Vatican City State.