FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30, 2013
Contact: Kath Cummins
It’s time for the laws on child abuse to protect kids, not institutions.
The chilling findings of the Bronx District Attorney investigation into three decades of abuse at the Horace Mann School is a watershed for the State of New York and for the cause of reforming America’s immoral statutes of limitations laws on child sex abuse.
“Child sex abuse thrived at Horace Mann because there was a culture of protecting the reputation of the school, instead of protecting vulnerable students," said Mai Fernandez, Executive Director of the National Center for Victims of Crime.
“It is no longer acceptable that our laws do the same: protect reputations not children.”
“The onus is now on the Horace Mann School to allow independent investigators to pursue the truth about how sex abuse was enabled and covered up at one of America’s most prestigious schools,” she said.
“There is renewed pressure on our law-makers to step up for children and their families, and not hide behind powerful vested interests.”
For three decades, students at the Horace Mann School suffered a systematic pattern of sexual abuse by teachers, according to a ten month-long investigation by the Bronx District Attorney’s office. 60 people were interviewed and at least 25 victims and a dozen abusers were identified.
Despite finding that the pattern of abuse - which went from 1962 to as late as 1996 - went even beyond that alleged in an article in the New York Times Magazine last June, none of the alleged offenders will be prosecuted, because all allegations are beyond the State’s statute of limitations.
“Unforgivable is that this culture of lies and cover-ups tore apart families, and denied sufferers of abuse the support they needed from both professionals and their own communities,” Fernandez said. Many victims thought they were the only one, and it is only after a lifetime of pain and failed relationships, that they discovered that others suffered too.”
The National Center for Victims of Crime has been campaigning across the nation for States to pass the Child Victims Act and end the statute of limitations for child sex abuse. For more information on our work and that of partner organizations in States including California, New York, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, go to our website: www.victimsofcrime.org/ChildVictimsAct/
The National Center for Victims of Crime, established in 1985, is the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. For more than 25 years, the National Center has led this nation’s struggle to provide crime victims with the rights, protections, and services they need to rebuild their lives.