How Many?


One of the most common questions we are asked in child protection is how many minors does a child molester sexually abuse in their lifetime?

In the case of Norbertine Father Reverend Brendan Smyth O. Praem, we have a glimpse into the mind, methods and devastating results from a Priest who was allowed by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy to decimate children in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the United States.

“Mr. Aiken said that Smyth was convicted of 117 cases of indecent assault against 41 children in the North and South. There were 74 convictions against 20 children in the Republic and 43 convictions against 21 children in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland convictions were between 1964 and 1984 and the Southern convictions between 1967 and 1993.”

If we extrapolate just the number of Irish survivors alone, 41, and apply that to the number of priest perpetrators from the Suffolk County Grand Jury Report on the Diocese of Rockville Centre New York, 58, we can deduce the number of minors sexually abused by Bishops, Priests and Deacons on Long Island was at least 2,378.

In her 2003 book, Predators, Anna C. Salter, Ph.D., writes:  “There are a lot of sexual offenses out there, and the people who commit them don’t get caught very often.  When an offender is caught and has a thorough evaluation with a polygraph backup, he will reveal dozens, sometimes hundreds, of offenses for which he was never apprehended.  In an unpublished study by psychologist Dr. Pamela Van Wyk, twenty-three offenders in her incarcerated treatment program entered the program admitting an average of three victims each.  Faced with a polygraph and the necessity of passing it to stay in the treatment program, they revealed an average of 175 victims each.”
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