Updates from the Clergy Abuse Research Consortium (CARC) have been few and far between as we transition into a new semester. That said, we have a few things in the pipeline:
- Jason will present at the annual conference of the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association in Chicago in late September. The presentation, titled “Preliminary analysis of priests’ perceptions of the sexual abuse scandal,” will discuss what we have learned so far from survey data gathered from clergymen in three Wisconsin dioceses over the past six weeks. Admittedly, survey response rates are lower than expected, but clergy in the sample were mailed a reminder postcard within the last 10 days with the hope of increasing participation. Once finalized, we will post our key early findings.
- Kendra and Jason will present at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology in Washington DC in November. The presentation, titled “Examining diocesan sexual abuse files: A look at priests, church leaders, cover-up, and blame minimization,” will give an overview of the research that we have conducted on files from Milwaukee, Chicago, Los Angeles, and St. John’s Abbey, as well as concurrently on-going research with files from Joliet (to be discussed below).
- In our post from July 16, I mentioned that I submitted a Student-Faculty Research Collaboration grant proposal to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at UWEC. In late-August, I learned that my student collaborator and I were awarded the grant in the amount of $1,998 (all money going to the student-researcher for her work on the project). This funding will help us analyze 16 publicly available files of priests from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet in Illinois who have been accused of sexual abuse of minors; these 16 files contain nearly 3,000 pages of documentation. As has been the case with most of our research to this point, we will code all instances of neutralization, justification, and deflection of self-blame by accused priests and others. We also will look for trends associated with offenders’ grooming of victims and all other victimization trends contained in the files. We hope to give our student collaborator ample opportunity to contribute to manuscript preparation and conference presentation, including MCJA in September 2016, the annual Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity (CERCA) in April 2016 at UWEC, and perhaps the Posters in the Rotunda event that showcases undergraduate research and is held every spring in the Capitol Rotunda in Madison, Wisconsin.
- The manuscript that we submitted to the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse remains under review; hopefully positive news from that submission is on the horizon.