In South Carolina, people accused of sexually abusing children do not face trial for years. Children who report abuse are not interviewed for weeks. Churches often stand between victims and help.
Those were among the findings of a privately financed report that comes as South Carolina is working to shore up its child protective system. The state is facing lawsuits and legislative scrutiny after a series of deaths, rapes and other assaults on children who were in state custody.
The report was welcomed by Gov. Nikki R. Haley, who said it offered useful recommendations for improving how the state — both the government and its citizens — can better address childhood sexual trauma.
It also prompted Ms. Haley to recount her own experience as a physically abused child.