Key Figures From a Catholic Abuse Survey

February 27, 2004



The following are key statistics from a survey conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice on molestation of minors by U.S. Roman Catholic clergy. The study was conducted for the National Review Board, a panel of prominent lay Catholics, which released its findings on Friday.

  • U.S. clerics accused of abuse from 1950-2002: 4,392.
    That's about 4 percent of the 109,694 serving during those 52 years.

  • Individuals making accusations: 10,667.

  • Victims' ages: 5.8 percent under 7; 16 percent ages 8-10; 50.9 percent ages 11-14; 27.3 percent ages 15-17.

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  • Victims' gender: 81 percent male, 19 percent female.

  • Duration of abuse: Among victims, 38.4 percent said all incidents occurred within one year; 21.8 percent said one to two years; 28 percent, two to four years; 11.8 percent longer

  • Victims per priest: 55.7 percent with one victim; 26.9 percent with two or three; 13.9 percent with four to nine; 3.5 percent with 10 or more (these 149 priests caused 27 percent of allegations).

  • Abuse locations: 40.9 percent at priest's residence; 16.3 percent in church; 42.8 percent elsewhere.

  • Known cost to dioceses and religious orders: $572,507,094 (does not include the $85 million Boston settlement and other expenses after research was concluded).
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