Christopher ‘Kit’ Bateman’s story is a moving chapter in the larger narrative of clergy abuse survivors. As a young student at Calvert Hall College High School in the 1970s, Kit was known as the outgoing kid brother of a beloved teacher and a two-time school president. However, beneath his cheerful facade lay an unimaginable burden of emotional pain.
In the latest episode of Survivors Stories, Kit courageously recounts how his life was forever altered by a then-unknown serial sexual predator-priest at the school. At the tender age of 14, during a Confession in the school chapel’s confessional, Kit became a victim of unspeakable abuse.
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Father Laurence Brett, the school chaplain, religion teacher, and former Rhodes scholar, had initially appeared admirable. However, one day in the confessional, Brett asked Kit, “What do you think about sex with men?” Shocked and horrified, Kit found himself reduced to tears as the priest’s advances escalated. Despite Kit’s protests, Brett persisted until Kit threatened to scream. Fearing exposure, the priest abruptly ended the abuse with the chilling command, “Get out!” Kit obeyed, never uttering a word about the ordeal to anyone.
Gripped by shame and guilt, Kit carried this dark secret for decades, unable to share it even with his own family. It wasn’t until he reached his 60s that he finally broke his silence, confiding in investigators from the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, who were diligently probing pervasive childhood abuse by the Church. In time, Kit would discover that he was not alone; numerous other victims at Calvert Hall had suffered at the hands of the notorious predator-priest, who had a history of abuse even when he was hired. Father Laurence Brett, who passed away in 2010, is among the predator-priests profiled in the comprehensive Attorney General’s report, spanning nearly 500 pages.
From Survivor to Advocate: Kit Bateman’s Resilience Shines
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Kit Bateman’s life journey transcends his role as a survivor. In addition to being a successful Maryland retail business entrepreneur, he is an actor, musician, and film producer. Today, Kit channels his experiences and his unwavering faith in Jesus Christ into advocacy for equality. He stands at the forefront of the fight for reform, Church accountability, and justice for survivors.
His message to children is crystal clear: “No one has the right to touch you, abuse you, and make you feel uncomfortable. If that happens, do what my Mother told me… Scream, run, AND TELL SOMEONE!!!”
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Survivors Stories, presented as a public service by dedicated sexual abuse attorneys from Jenner Law, Grant & Eisenhofer, and Baird Mandalas Brockstedt Federico & Cardea, in collaboration with SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused By Priests), shines a spotlight on the harrowing stories of survivors like Kit Bateman. The multi-part series premiered just before legislative hearings on the proposed Child Victims Act of 2023, and prior to the release of the Attorney General’s report on systemic child sexual abuse within and beyond the Baltimore archdiocese.
Survivors Stories is an integral part of a comprehensive public information effort, which includes an online grassroots petition advocating for survivors’ rights. David Lorenz, from the state’s SNAP chapter, spearheads the petition campaign and stands as one of the most vocal supporters of the legislation.
Attorneys Robert K. Jenner of Jenner Law, M. Elizabeth Graham of Grant & Eisenhofer, and Philip Federico of Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico commend the courage of Kit Bateman and all the survivors who participate in this impactful series. Their stories serve as a testament to resilience, hope, and the unwavering pursuit of justice.