Institutional Betrayal and Systematic Cover-Ups - A Rapid Response

Updated: Dec 27, 2018

The United States is seeing broad and devastating examples of how our systems and organizations are betraying rather than protecting citizens. A recent law enforcement raid at the offices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Texas, evidence that former US District Attorney and current U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, assisted an influential multimillionaire in avoiding serious consequences for his involvement in the sexual abuse and trafficking of minor girls, and the numerous additional victims who were harmed due to a lack of urgency by the FBI during the Larry Nassar investigation – all examples of the integral role, and devastating consequences, that systems and organizations play in the prevention – and the perpetration – of sexual abuse.

When cover-ups occur, perpetrators are not held accountable, survivors are not allowed to heal and more victims are created continuing the cycle of violence. This is especially evident when those that are entrusted to protect and provide safety, whether it be the Catholic Church, professional organizations or the criminal justice system, are more concerned with protecting the “organization,” “system” or “powerful person” than the victims of abuse. This becomes even more egregious when the rich and powerful receive special treatment by the criminal justice system, a system which is tasked with protecting the vulnerable and providing equal treatment to all, not just a privileged few; it is also often the last recourse for survivors. The lack of justice and perpetuation of trauma for the victims impacted by these failures is not only unconscionable, it is preventable.

A photograph of the United States Supreme Court bench.

Sexual abuse is a worldwide public health epidemic that impacts everyone – individuals, communities, institutions, and society as a whole. We all have a responsibility to prevent sexual – and all other – forms of abuse. Yet those in positions of authority or power have an even greater responsibility to those under their protection and care. NPEIV calls for transparency, accountability, and an end to the perpetuation of system facilitated abuse.

The National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence (NPEIV) is an overarching group of individuals, organizations, agencies, coalitions, and groups that embrace a national, multi-disciplinary and multicultural commitment to violence prevention across the lifespan.

NPEIV is committed to reducing interpersonal violence and its consequences through scientific research and application of empirical findings. It is our mission to make the prevention of interpersonal violence a national and international priority and to encourage healthy relationships by linking science, practice, policy and advocacy.

Through our many partnerships and collaborations, it is our vision to end all types of interpersonal violence, for all people, in all communities, at all stages of life. For more information, please visit www.npeiv.org

The Family Violence and Sexual Assault Institute/The Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT) serves as the fiscal and logistical agents of NPEIV and are a Non-Profit 501(C)(3) Corporation. 

© 2017 by NPEIV

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Email : npeiv@ivatcenters.org

​Telephone : ​858-527-1860 ext. 4042