GREENVILLE, S.C. –
A new report, release Tuesday, details the investigation, treatment and prosecution of child sexual abuse in South Carolina.
“One day God just came to us and told us to get involved,” said Bob Castellani, founder of Silent Tears who along with his wife, Lisa, gave $250,000 last year to conduct the statewide assessment on Child Sexual Abuse in South Carolina. “And so we did.” Joining the Castellani’s were US Senator Tim Scott, Congressman Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and Executive Director of the National Child Protection Training Center Victor Vieth.
Attorney General Wilson said, “Child sexual abuse is an issue that has no boundaries or lines. It affects all South Carolinians regardless of race, creed, religion, ideology or means.” The Attorney General will be taking this roadmap and advocate for its replication by other states through the National Attorney General’s Association.
“After working as a prosecutor, it is clear to me that we can do more to understand and prevent sexual child abuse and to bring the perpetrators to justice,” added Congressman Trey Gowdy. “We should all be thankful to Bob and Lisa for their dedication to fight sexual child abuse and bring hope to victims.”
“It’s our duty to stand up for innocent children who might not be able to stand up for themselves,” said Senator Scott. “I’m proud to join the effort to provide a voice to kids who need it.”
The Silent Tears report begins by calling for more training for child protection professionals at the undergraduate and graduate level. The report suggests law schools, medical school and seminaries should develop or expand child protection curricula.
The Silent Tears report goes on the recommend improving training in the field. That includes updating training standards, and giving advocates better training in mock settings, such as a courtroom, crime scene or forensic interviews.
The report also calls for collecting more evidence at crime scenes and better communicating with solicitors.