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May 27, 2010 @ %I:%M %p

STATEMENT OF THE OWORLD ASSOCIATION FOR SEXUAL HEALTHN THE OCCASION OF THE POPE鈥橲 VISIT TO PORTUGAL

WAS

Press release- for immediate release. Porto, Portugal聽 May 11th, 2010

STATEMENT OF THE WORLD ASSOCIATION FOR SEXUAL HEALTH ON THE OCCASION OF THE POPE鈥橲 VISIT TO PORTUGAL

The World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) works to promote and defend Sexual Rights as an essential component of Universal Human Rights. These include the right to be free from sexual violence and coercion regardless of the individual鈥榮 age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics.

The phenomenon of sexual abuse is a scourge that affects children of all ethnicities and social backgrounds. The vast majority of abused children are victims of family members or people in positions of power and trust, such as educators and clergy.

In recognition of the important role that the Catholic Church has played throughout its history the WAS is expressing its position on the current debate.

The exposure of sexual abuse within the institution of the Catholic Church and the attitude of the Catholic hierarchy to systematically hide and protect the abusers is reprehensible and violates the sexual rights of children and young people. The deleterious consequences of sexual abuse may last a lifetime.

Many statements recently made on behalf of the Catholic Church are based on false premises.聽 For example those that link pedophilia with homosexuality.

WAS encourages the use of scientific evidence as the basis for any public statement and policy regarding sexuality.

WAS welcomes the Catholic Church鈥檚 formal declaration that sexual abuse by clergy should be denounced. However, WAS recommends that the Church offers full reparation through appropriate procedures to protect the vulnerable and to provide effective treatment for aggressors.

In addition WAS urges governments, institutions and professionals to commit themselves to break the silence about a crime that affects millions

The professional expertise of representatives and members of the World Association for Sexual Health remains available to provide advice, support and services to assist in creating positive social changes.

CONTACT:

Rosemary Coates, Ph D. President WAS. +61401103008. R.coates@curtin.edu.au

Pedro Nobre, PhD. President of Portuguese Society of Clinical Sexology, pnobre5@gmail.com

Filed under DERECHO HUMANO, Derechos Sexuales, SEXUAL RIGHTS, Version in English

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