PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Thousands of clergy abuse victims went public over the past two decades to shed light on sexually abusive priests within the Roman Catholic Church.
Now, many of these victims are being reminded of their abuse by the sexual misconduct scandals gripping Hollywood and Washington, D.C.
They see haunting similarities between their experience and the experiences of women coming forward about abuse at the hands of powerful men. They include fear of retribution, impossible power disparities, and confidential settlements that bury complaints.
Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has denied allegations that he raped three women and sexually assaulted or harassed dozens of others. In the fallout, dozens of other high-profile men have been publicly accused of misconduct.
The Catholic church has paid more than $3 billion to settle clergy abuse cases since 1950, including a record-breaking $660 million settlement in Los Angeles a decade ago.