The Not-So-Secret Institutional Code Words for Child Sex Abuse

    There has been no shortage of news this summer when it comes to the US clergy sex abuse crisis. Although the Vatican is attempting to clean up the mess as much as possible before Pope Francis’ September visit (including accepting the resignations of the St. Paul and Minneapolis archbishop and bishop, as well as…Continue reading The Not-So-Secret Institutional Code Words for Child Sex Abuse

The OC WarmLine

    I was at the doctor’s office the other day when I saw a card for the OC WarmLine. Sponsored by the National Alliance of Mental Illness-Orange County, the WarmLine is staffed by “warm, friendly voices” who can provide help with substance abuse or mental health concerns (including depression), provide referrals for mental health…Continue reading The OC WarmLine

What we can learn from the LeTourneau interview

  Barbara Walters’ interview with convicted child molester Mary Kay LeTourneau and her once-victim-now-husband Vili Fualaau was gut wrenching. The romanticization of the abuse was awful enough. But giving a woman like LeTourneau a platform to justify what she did is reprehensible. Being outraged or upset about the interview doesn’t help anyone. But talking about her predatory…Continue reading What we can learn from the LeTourneau interview

Today’s interview on KFI’s Bill Carroll Show

  This morning I spoke with KFI 640 AM’s Bill Carroll about my new book, child sex abuse and cover-up, and why we are seeing more female teachers being arrested for sexually abusing boys. It was a great conversation—covering everything from internet safety to the importance of civil and criminal laws that protect kids and expose…Continue reading Today’s interview on KFI’s Bill Carroll Show

Giving the “Compassionate Response” to the adult victim of child sexual abuse

  If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive. – Brené Brown, Daring Greatly   One of the most common emails I get is from people who say, “Joelle, my friend just told me that s/he was sexually abused as a child. I don’t know what…Continue reading Giving the “Compassionate Response” to the adult victim of child sexual abuse

An epidemic of child sex abuse in our public schools

There’s a banner that hangs outside of Costa Mesa’s (California) Whittier Elementary School. Its slogan— Children are our first priority—is a painfully ironic reminder of one of the biggest problems plaguing our public schools. That problem is child sexual abuse by public school employees—an epidemic that is raging out of control. Don’t believe it’s a problem?…Continue reading An epidemic of child sex abuse in our public schools

Shattuck-St. Mary’s Part Three: Inside the mind of a predator

  I give you two predators: One fictional. One real. The similarities will stun you. “It’s very boring, having to listen to the silly little troubles of an eleven-year-old girl,” he went on. “But I was patient. I wrote back. I was sympathectic, I was kind. Ginny simply loved me. No one’s ever understood me…Continue reading Shattuck-St. Mary’s Part Three: Inside the mind of a predator