'We have to hold people to justice': Clergy abuse victim opens up; AG Kaul shares what the state is doing
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- As a number of protesters gathered outside of Rembert Weakland's funeral, who was archbishop of Milwaukee from 1977 to 2002 after a sexual abuse scandal, a survivor of clergy abuse is speaking up and his concern with the statewide Clergy and Faith Leaders Abuse initiative.
"We have to hold people to justice no matter who they are," said Peter Isely, director of Nate's Mission and survivor of clergy abuse.
At just 13 years old, Isely said his abuse began less than a week after attending a minor seminary. The abuse done by one of his faith leaders.
"It began gradually, as it often does, you know shoulders rubbing...you know then it'd sort of stop. Next time is going to go farther down until he finally went into my pants," said Isely.
He's made it a life mission to protect others. He's part of the Survivors Network of those Abused By Priest and Nate's Mission.
Nate's Mission is named after Nate Lindstrom who was a victim of clergy abuse. He took his own life at the age of 45.
In April of last year, Attorney General Josh Kaul launched an inquiry into clergy and faith leader abuse.
"We wanted to make sure that in any case where we can get justice that we vigorously pursue justice," said Kaul.
AG Kaul said so far they've had over 200 reports of clergy or faith leader abuse and have criminally charged two faith leaders. The initiative also guides survivors to victim services and an anonymous tip line.
Some survivors, like Isely, said it's not enough.
"We're extremely frustrated, we were promised one thing and once again we're not getting it," said Isely.
Kaul said despite the Milwaukee Archdiocese's lack of cooperation, he's determined to seek justice.
"Our goal is to follow the facts where they lead and that's what we've been doing," said Kaul.
If you have experienced someone who has suffered from clergy or faith leader abuse or know someone who has, here are some helpful sites:
- supportsurvivors.widoj.gov, tip line 1-877-222-2620
- Nate's Mission
- Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)