One of the most effective tools in fighting child sexual abuse and protecting kids has been the internet. The internet has been a source of constant information about predators and those who protect predators. Tomorrow I will appear in court in St. Louis, Missouri to represent a website author who created a website to protect kids called http://protectkidsfromclergypredators.com/. This website contains mostly court records from a child sexual abuse lawsuit against Rev. James D. Manning . Manning settled the child sexual abuse suit out of court and then turned around and filed a lawsuit against the website claiming that it caused him emotional distress when the website made court documents available to the public. Manning does not claim that the documents that were posted were inaccurate or untrue, because they are accurate and truthful. Our involvement relates to protecting this website author’s right and responsibility to publicize truthful information about a child predator. This is a right that must be aggressively guarded because of the incredible impact these website have had on child protection.
Some of the best examples of how big of an impact websites and web presence has had on child protection are bishop-accountability.org and snapnetwork.org. Bishop-accountability.org is a website that tracks all reports of clergy sexual abuse around the world and permanently archives the news article according to the perpetrator, the perpetrator’s location and the perpetrator’s diocese or religious order. This website is close to a civil registry of known sexual abusers complete with the supporting documentation.
Snapnetwork.org is a website dedicated to supporting those who are recovering from sexual abuse. This website provides a wealth of information such as self-help books, support group meetings, how to pick a therapist as well as updates on the advocacy efforts of the group Survivors Network or those Abused by Priests (SNAP). These websites as well as many others have brought information to people who need it. They have been critical to the fight against child sexual abuse. Do you know of a website that has been especially helpful to you in the area of child protection? Leave the URL of the website in the comments for others to see and access.
About the author: Patrick Noaker is a Sr. Litigation Attorney with the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates who represents survivors of sexual abuse, exploitation and pornography.