Jeff Anderson is widely recognized as a pioneer in sexual abuse litigation and a champion of survivors of childhood sexual abuse. In nearly four decades as a litigator, Jeff has represented thousands of survivors and their families and has tried over two hundred and fifty jury trials to verdict across the country through the crucible of the courtroom. Known for his optimism, energy and compassion for his clients, Jeff is credited with being instrumental in exposing the large scale cover-up of pedophile priests in the early 1980's. He was one of the first trial lawyers in America to publicly and aggressively initiate lawsuits against sexual predators—and focus on bringing heat and light on the offenders and the institutions that conceal and protect them.
Jeff has received many awards and recognitions but his greatest honor is the trust reposed in him by survivors and their families. From them he draws strength, courage and inspiration in the shared journey of hope and healing.
Anderson's tireless efforts extend beyond the courtroom where he is a frequent lecturer, survivor advocate and author who advocates for legislative and judicial protection of children and the prevention of childhood sexual abuse.
Jason Berry achieved prominence for his investigation of the Catholic clergy abuse crisis in Lead Us Not Into Temptation (1992), a book still used in many newsrooms. In 1997 he collaborated with Gerald Renner of the Hartford Courant in exposing the Vatican’s sheltering the Legion of Christ founder, Father Marcial Maciel, who was trailed for years by allegations of pedophilia. Their book Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II (2004), explored the breakdown of Vatican justice. In 2006, Pope Benedict banished Maciel from ministry. In 2008 Berry produced a film based on the book which has aired in Ireland, Spain and Italy. In 2014 he was co-producer of the Frontline documentary “Secrets of the Vatican.” In 2011 he published, Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church  which won Investigative Reporters and Editors Best Book Award. A graduate of Georgetown University, he lives in New Orleans.
Barbara Blaine is founder and president of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Since 1988, Blaine has reached out to help survivors, expose wrongdoers and prevent clergy sex crimes and cover ups. Previously Blaine worked as a volunteer high school teacher in Jamaica and assisted street-children to locate family members ran a shelter for homeless families in Chicago and then represented abused and neglected children in juvenile court. Blaine holds graduate degrees in Law, Social Work and Theology. Blaine works tirelessly to protect the innocence and safety of children and to help survivors and their loved-ones find healing, information and support.
Justice Anne M. Burke
Throughout her long career in public service as a children’s advocate and legal professional, Justice Anne M. Burke of the Illinois Supreme Court’s First District has endeavored to provide a voice to society’s most fragile citizens. Justice Burke was a leading advocate on behalf of Chicago’s most vulnerable of young people. As a physical education teacher with the Chicago Park District, she worked with children with disabilities. Out of that experience, she went on to co-found the Chicago Special Olympics in 1968.
Anne Burke began a neighborhood law practice that included representing the interests of children and families involving issues of neglect, abuse, delinquency and parental custody.
For more than two years, serving as Interim Chair, she directed the efforts of the National Review Board of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops investigating the causes and effects of the clergy abuse scandal and helping to establish guidelines and policies for effectively responding to this scandal.
Mary Caplan is a survivor of clergy sex abuse and the New York City SNAP leader where she facilitates a monthly support meeting. She is married with three (3) adult children. Mary was a nurse before returning to Fordham University for her Graduate degree. She has a private practice where she counsels people with life threatening illness and individuals going through grief. She has been an active member of SNAP since 2005.
Joelle Casteix, SNAP Western Regional Director and author of the upcoming book The Well-armored Child: How to Protect Your Son or Daughter from Abuse and Exploitation, is the leading national “in the trenches” expert on the prevention and exposure of child sex abuse and cover-up, especially within institutions such as the Catholic Church. A former journalist, educator, and public relations professional, Joelle has taken her own experience as a victim of child sex crimes and devoted her career to exposing abuse, advocating on behalf of survivors, and spreading abuse prevention strategies for parents and communities.
For the last 23 years, David has served as the director of SNAP. In that role, he has traveled and spoken extensively, helping to set up local support groups in more than 50 cities. Clohessy was one of only four survivors to address all of America’s catholic bishops at their historic meeting in Dallas in 2002. Before working full-time with SNAP, David was a community organizer in low income neighbor-hoods, a union organizer representing low wage workers, and has been a political and public relations consultant. David helped elect St. Louis’ first black mayor and later the city’s first female prosecutor. David is committed to exposing hidden truths and cover-ups in the church, especially who knew what, and when. He is married and has two sons.
As a woman sexually abused as an adult by her pastor, Erin understands the devastation, fear, shame, self-doubt, confusion, anger and helplessness that come with such a violation. Her greatest desire is to see all survivors find hope and healing. Erin is currently leading a monthly SNAP group in Dallas, Texas, and she is the SNAP contact for those abused as adults by religious leaders. Erin is the communication and project coordination specialist for a collective impact initiative at a small university. Her work is focused on developing infrastructure and systems, as well as cultivating university and community relationships that lead to engagement. She holds a Master’s degree in print journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor’s degree in English from Southern Methodist University. She is the proud mother of her ‘perfect’ teen-aged son, Cameron.
Juan Carlos Cruz
In 2009, together with James Hamilton and José Andrés Murillo, Juan Carlos came forward with his story of abuse by Fr. Fernando Karadima, an emblematic priest in Chilean society. Born in Santiago, Chile, Juan Carlos studied journalism and worked in several newsrooms before moving to the United States in 2000, where he has worked for several Fortune 500 companies as their corporate communications executive. In April 2010, Cruz’s story broke in the New York Times, forever changing the dominance and cover-up of abuse in the Chilean Catholic Church. Because of his courage, other victims have felt empowered to come forward. Two best-selling books have been written about this case, and a movie is currently in the works. Juan Carlos' book in Spanish El Fin de la Inocencia, published by Penguin-Random House in June is number 1 on the nonfiction best seller lists in Latin America.
Michael D'Antonio is author of Mortal Sins, Sex, Crime, and the Era of Catholic Scandal, which was published in 2013 and named one of the best books of the year by both Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Review. The author of more than a dozen books on science, religion, sports, and economics, Michael has also written for a range of publications including Esquire, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times Magazine, Discover, Mother Jones and Ms. Magazine. Prior to becoming a full time author he was a reporter in Washington, D.C. and in New York. He is the recipient of several awards for journalism including the Pulitzer Prize, which was awarded to a team of journalists at Newsday where he worked in in 1984.
Nicky Davis first came forward about her abuse after the appalling treatment of Australian survivors during World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney. Refusing to enter Cardinal George Pell's abusive “Towards Healing” process, Nicky went straight to the police. Her carefully hidden perpetrator was finally arrested after a decades long coverup. But the broken Australian justice system allowed him to walk free, despite multiple eyewitnesses to the dozens of assaults against her. Determined not to see others denied justice as she was, Nicky became a SNAP Australia leader and lobbied for the Royal Commission announced by the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard in November 2012. Nicky is working closely with the Royal Commission and other current inquiries in Australia to ensure these rare attempts to deliver justice and healing to survivors are not derailed by vested interests.
Mary Dispenza is above all a teacher. She has given over 35 years to teaching children and serving as a Catholic school principal. She is a National Distinguished Principal and was also honored as a community leader for her work with the gay community for equal rights and support for homeless gay youth. Recently Mary developed a program with other colleagues called “Kids for Kindness,” to give parents and teachers skills to minimize bullying behaviors and strengthen qualities of kindness in children.
Mary’s involvement in SNAP – the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, has opened a new pathway for her to serve and lift up others. She heads to the computer often to write editorials and Op Eds to support victim/survivors, expose predators, challenge the Vatican, increase awareness, and above all to protect children from priests and nuns who rape and torture them. Mary cherishes her time listening to brave men and women who entrust her with their stories of sexual violence and their long journey toward healing.
Mary lives with her spouse, Mary Ann, in Seattle. Experiencing the passage of the right to marry the person you love in the state of Washington was a reminder to Mary that ordinary, regular people like herself can work with others and make significant change in ways that matter. And her work with SNAP is another opportunity and reminder of this challenge and truth.
Anne Barrett Doyle
Anne is co-director of BishopAccountability.org. In 2002, she co-founded the Coalition of Catholics and Survivors, a group that organized activism in the Boston archdiocese. Previously, she was an editor with the Public Conversations Project, a group that facilitates dialogue about divisive issues, and a vice president of a Manhattan public relations firm. She is a graduate of Harvard College.
Tom Doyle was ordained a priest in the Dominican Order in 1970. He received a doctorate in Canon Law in 1978 and spent 19 years as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force. He has worked as a parish priest, church administrator and teacher. He is also a certified addictions therapist.
Tom has been directly involved in clergy sexual abuse issue since 1984. His involvement includes pastoral/spiritual support for victims and their families, canonical advocacy, consultant and expert witness in civil and criminal litigations, writer and lecturer. His work with clergy abuse victims has taken him throughout the U.S. and also to Ireland, the U.K., Belgium, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. He has assisted grand juries in the U.S. and investigatory commissions in Ireland and Canada. In 2011 he was invited to address the Belgian Parliament on the subject of clergy sexual abuse. He has also had considerable experience assisting persons harmed by the institutional Church in ways other than sexual abuse.
Larry E. Drivon, a retired attorney, spent his career of almost 40 years fighting for the underdog. Larry represented victims of consumer fraud, auto accidents, and sex crimes. He defended individuals facing the death penalty and a wide range of criminal charges. Larry served as president of the Consumer Attorneys of California and the San Joaquin County Trial Lawyers Association and worked as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice. Larry has written extensively on legal issues and authored The Civil War on Consumer Rights. For several years Larry served as special counsel to the California State Senate on a pro bono basis investigating the oil refinery industry and a Select Committee to Investigate Price Manipulation of the Wholesale Energy Market. In representing survivors of child sexual abuse Larry recognized how statutes of limitation were closing the court room doors to most victims when they were too young to be aware of the devastating harm they would continue to suffer well into adulthood. Armed with his compassion for the victims, expertise gained by decades working with the law Larry launched the successful campaign to reform California statutes of limitation laws. This not only exposed over 300 predators but provided justice for over a thousand victims.
Kiera Feldman is a Brooklyn-based journalist and a member of the Ochberg Society for Trauma Journalism. Her work is supported by the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute. In a story for The New Republic, she spent a year investigating the mishandling of sexual assault and harassment at Patrick Henry College, the elite evangelical school better known as God's Harvard. A finalist for the 2013 Livingston Award, her This Land Press story "Grace in Broken Arrow" revisited a mega church in Tulsa a decade after a beloved gym coach went to jail for molesting boys. Kiera has also written stories about the intersection of religion and politics for The Nation, Mother Jones, n+1, Religion Dispatches, Killing the Buddha, and elsewhere.
Dr. Jennifer Haselberger is a canon lawyer who received her licentiate degree in canon law from the Catholic University of Leuven Belgium. She also has a Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of London. She is a member of the Canon Law Society of North America and served on the Resolutions Committee of that Society. She has practiced as a canon lawyer in the United States and internationally. After serving as the Bishop’s Delegate for Canonical Affairs in the Diocese of Fargo, Dr. Haselberger returned to the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis to serve as Chancellor for Canonical Affairs, a position she held until she resigned in April of 2013 in protest of the Archdiocese’s handling of sexual misconduct by clergy. She has served on independent review boards and is a noted speaker on issues relating to canon law and the Catholic Church.
Janna Henning J.D., Psy.D., F.T., B.C.E.T.S.
Dr. Henning is a clinical psychologist and educator who specializes in effective interventions for traumatic stress, dissociative disorders, death and dying, bereavement, and loss in psychotherapy. She also provides training in self-care strategies for people who work extensively with survivors of trauma and loss. She is an Associate Professor in the Psy.D. Program at the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, and the creator and coordinator of its Traumatic Stress Psychology Concentration. Dr. Henning earned her B.A. in Political Science and J.D. in Law at Indiana University, and her M.A. and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is a Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress, a Fellow in Thanatology (Death, Dying and Bereavement), and certified in Clinical Hypnosis. She provides individual therapy in a part-time private practice setting for traditionally underserved individuals who have experienced severe traumatic life events, chronic or life-threatening illness, bereavement, or loss.
Pauline joined BishopAccountability.org full time in October 2013 after three years as an intern. She is currently working on the organization's international database project, its archives, and its plans for social media. She has a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst.
After being abused as a teenager in Barcelona by the priest responsable for the Catholic youth group he attended, Miguel Hurtado immediately told his abuser´s superiors. He had the naive hope that once they discovered that a dangerous predator was in charge of vulnerable teenagers, they would do the right thing and report him to the authorities. Instead they protected his abuser and covered up the crime. He then realized that Church officials were more concerned about the reputation of the Church than the well being of children. He also discovered that the only way to protect vulnerable children from harm in the future is not by trying to engage with corrupt Church officials but by joining courageous victims in openly telling their stories to end the impunity of sex criminals and hold criminally negligent Church officials accountable. Since then he has appeared in multiple national and international media outlets as an expert in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis. He had the honor to participate in Geneva as a SNAP spokesperson during the historic events in which the UN Commitee of the Rights of the Child and UN Commitee against Torture held the Vatican accountable for the first time for breaching International Law by enabling serious human right violations against children. He joined other brave survivors who protested in Rome against the shameful canonization of John Paul II, forcing the global media to focus on vJPII appalling record of covering up sex crimes. His case has been one the sixteen survivors stories included in Silent Witness, a recently published photojournalistic book by award winning journalist, Lorena Ros. He currently lives in London where he is training as a Child Psychiatrist.
Becky has been a member of SNAP since 2006 and a SNAP leader in the Washington D.C. area since 2007. Becky is a peer leader who first courageously faced her own abuse and fought church leaders for justice, and then began taking calls from other survivors and walking with them along a healing journey. She is a SNAP spokesperson who seeks to expose truth. She holds a BA in Education from the College of William and Mary.
Peter Isely is a survivor of childhood sexual assault by a Wisconsin priest, a founding member of SNAP, its longtime Midwest Director and first National Board Chair. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Peter is a psychotherapist in private practice and established the world’s only inpatient hospital program for victims of clergy sexual trauma. A frequent spokesperson and media guest for survivors, Peter’s story and work has been featured nationally and internationally over the years, including in several documentary films. Peter is the recipient of the 2014 Rev. Peter J. Gomes Distinguished Alumni Honors of Harvard University, the 2012 Public Service Award of the National Association of Social Workers, and the 2010 Thomas P Canon Equal Justice Award of the Legal Aid Society.
Norbert Krapf, Indiana Poet Laureate 2008-10, is emeritus professor of English at Long Island Univ., where he taught for 34 years and directed the C.W. Post Poetry Center. A native of Jasper, Indiana, a German-Catholic town, he lives with his family in Indianapolis. He is the author and editor of 26 books, the latest of which is Catholic Boy Blues: A Poet’s Journal of Healing, his 11th full-length collection. In 2007 he wrote 325 poems on the subject of surviving abuse by a priest in the 1950s and eventually selected and revised 130 of them for publication. The poems came to him in four voices: the boy, the man he became, the priest, and Mr. Blues, an elderly choric mentor who encourages the effort to find healing and speak for others. Norbert was awarded the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, two Fulbright grants to teach American poetry at German universities, and a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis to combine poetry and blues. He has collaborated with jazz pianist Monika Herzig and bluesman Gordon Bonham, with photographers in three collections from Indiana University Press, and sees his new book as a collaboration between various parts of himself, past and present. The writing of his prose memoir about childhood, The Ripest Moments, led him to tell in Catholic Boy Blues the story of the clergy abuse he suffered as a boy. Find more info at www.krapfpoetry.com.
Mary Ellen Kruger
Mary Ellen lives in St. Louis, MO and has 4 children, 7 grandchildren and 1 great-granddaughter. She worked in the Insurance industry for 33 yrs. before retiring in 2009. Her youngest son, Stephen Hippe, was abused by a priest and a teacher in 1985 and 86 while in a Catholic High School. Both predators were prosecuted and sent to prison. Stephen took his own life in 1991 at the age of 21. Mary Ellen is an active member of SNAP, VOTF, Sts. Clare & Francis ECC and Friends of Fr. Dickson Cemetery. She has done research on treatment centers in the St. Louis area, where the church is housing and servicing clergy accused of sexual offenses.
Tim is a local leader of SNAP in San Francisco and maintains contact with local survivors and supporters. He facilitates the local SNAP support group that meets monthly and he currently serves on the SNAP board of directors. Tim, a full-time SNAP volunteer, is responsible for correspondence with those who write to the SNAP website. This is a daily task that enables him to help those in need as he once was. Tim believes that volunteering gives him an opportunity to fight back against vile predators, something he couldn’t do as a child. Tim says, “what happened to me should not happen to any child.
I was raped and abused by a known child molesting priest when I was twelve. My memory of that abuse did not appear until thirty years later. The memories stirred severe trauma and emotional distress.” The SNAP support group in Hayward CA led by SNAP leader Terrie Light from 1995 to 1997 helped Tim begin on a path of healing. This healing, in turn, led to a healthier life and the birth of twin girls in 1998.
Marek Lisinski (46 years old), is a survivor, social activist, president of the Polish Foundation, which provides assistance to victims of sexual abuse by the clergy, company owner, and father.
Marek was the victim of a pedophile priest at the age of 13, and then was repeatedly molested by the priest for several consecutive months. These traumatic childhood experiences had an impact on his future life. He has been active in working for charities for over ten years. He is an addictions therapist. In 2009 he was the ambassador of the nationwide campaign alcohol abuse prevention programs and awarded by the mayor of the city for his many activities fighting for social justice. Last year he founded and now manages the first and only Polish organization which attempts to identify the problem of clerical pedophilia in Poland, called “Be Not Afraid Foundation.” This foundation aims to help victims with both psychological and legal concerns. He currently runs his own business and has a happy family. He is a literature lover and in his spare time he writes poetry.
Trish McLelland is the coordinator of BishopAccountability.org’s accused priest database, which now includes more than 3,900 names. For ten years, as legal assistant to Dallas plaintiff attorney Sylvia Demarest, Trish helped create an extensive electronic database and file collection on accused priests. After Sylvia retired and donated this archive to BishopAccountability.org, Trish joined the BA.org staff part-time. She has a Master’s degree in Library Science.
Terence McKiernan founded BishopAccountability.org in 2003 and is the organization’s president. Terry holds master’s degrees in Classics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Bristol in England. Before his involvement in the church crisis, he was an academic editor and a consulting firm manager.
In May 2006, Suzy joined BishopAccountability.org, where she heads the organization’s effort to research and publish assignment records for all accused priests. From 2002 to 2006, she helped organize affiliates across the US for Voice of the Faithful. A social worker, Suzy directed a group treatment program for sexually abused children in Kentucky from 1990 to 1994. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Dayton and a Master’s degree in Social Work from San Francisco State University.
Badara Ndaw is a Human Rights advocate from Senegal, West Africa. As a Renewable Energy practitioner, he aims at providing energy solutions to African villages through a Rural Electrification Program. Working with SNAP Network since 2010 Badara has now been appointed as the Africa
Regional Coordinator of the organization. Through SNAP educational materials and several virtual self-help support group sessions, he is striving to bring more disclosures, accountability and reparations from pedophile priests. However, the feelings of embarrassment and the fear of being exposed prevent victims of sex abuse in his country from seeking justice. The subject of clergy sex abuse is still considered very ‘taboo’ in Africa; not to mention the inferiority complex of most people towards the Church. Those powerful factors are currently preventing Human and Children’s Rights advocates from exposing the unlawful behaviors of the priests. With the support of SNAP, Badara is fighting to protect the confidentiality of the victims and bring the clergy perpetuators to justice.
Sheila O'Grady has worked in the medical field as a microbiologist for many years. Her love of yoga, with its healing benefits drew her to a second career in 2008, teaching hatha yoga. Sheila completed additional yoga training in 2013 and received certification to specialize in yoga for cancer survivors. She is the founder of Strong Roots Yoga and now teaches to cancer survivors at any stage of treatment in the greater Chicagoland area. She is married and lives with her husband in Chicago.
David O’Regan is the SNAP Boston-Worcester Leader from Spencer Ma. holding monthly support meetings in both Worcester and Boston. He is also a volunteer for the Massachusetts Enough Abuse Campaign in Southern Worcester County where he gives talks to young people, parents, and professionals on the dangers of sexual abuse.
David first came to SNAP in 2004 after being triggered to his childhood abuse in 2002 by the Boston Clergy Sex Scandal and instantly found that the SNAP organization gave him an outlet where he felt trust and could speak of his abuse and be understood. In 2011 David was feeling the need and desire to give back what he received as a support meeting member and became the SNAP Central MA Director and in 2013 started the re-birth of Boston SNAP.
David is married to his wife Jane and over the last 42 years together they have raised 6 children and have been foster parents to 62 other beautiful children. David retired in 2005 as a Letter Carrier with 35 years of service. He is still active working full time as a college Public Safety Officer near his home in Spencer Ma.
Megan Peterson is a survivor from Minnesota. In 2005, at the age of fifteen, she came forward to tell her story of abuse by a priest. The priest fled the country to his native India and was shielded by his native diocese. Since then Megan has pressed forward by suing the diocese of Crookston to hold them accountable and by forcing protective measures to be put in place. She has also pressed forward with a criminal case against the priest, currently seeking extradition. Megan has been involved in multiple international efforts, such as, the filing at the International Criminal Court. Most recently she attended and participated in the Holy Sees reporting to the Committee Against Torture and the Committee on the Rights of the Child. She has spent the past couple of years speaking across the globe, raising awareness, giving support, and fighting for accountability. Megan currently lives in New York City, where she is working as an artist and co-leading SNAP New York City and SNAP Minnesota.
Laura has over fourteen years of experience organizing, writing, and advocating on social justice and human rights issues in the U.S. and internationally. Much of Laura’s work focuses on the impact of U.S. actors, corporations and government policies and practices abroad. She is the co-editor of The Global Activist’s Manual: Local Ways to Change the World (Nation Books, 2002) and the author of numerous articles on human rights and organizing.
Stephen Rubino is a semi-retired attorney whose 35 year career started in New Jersey but eventually included representing victims in seventeen other states and the District of Columbia, the Canadian Northwest Territories and Nunavut, in the Eastern Arctic. He graduated from the Catholic University Law School of America in 1974. Early on, Mr. Rubino acquired insight into the depth of harm victims abused by clergy endures. Recognizing that statutes of limitation were barring most victims from the courts he fought harder and wiser to stretch the parameters of justice. Ultimately his efforts not only assisted thousands of survivors but also likely prevented an untold number of children from having their innocence shattered.
For 17 years, from 1993 to 2010, Mr. Rubino served as chairman of the American Association for Justice Litigation Group for Childhood Sexual Abuse on a pro bono basis. He also represented 9/11 victims harmed by the terror attack on the World Trade Center as part of the Trial Lawyers Care project.
In 2008 Mr. Rubino was selected as one of nine finalists by the Public Justice Foundation for Trial Lawyer of the Year for their work in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Diocese of San Diego Catholic Abuse litigation.
From 2010 to 2013 he accepted a judicial appointment as President and CEO of The Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. Inc. As head of the corporation, Mr. Rubino administered all of the intellectual property of Dr. King throughout the world.
Melanie Jula Sakoda and two friends began a website (Pokrov.org) to reach out to survivors of abuse in the Orthodox Christian churches in 1999. The three women had spoken up about the way an abuse case in their local parish was mishandled by church officials, and their lives were forever changed by the resulting backlash. Melanie and the others realized how lucky they were to have had each other during this time, and they wanted to reach out to others who were going through similar experiences without support. SNAP was always a valuable resource in their work, and in 2008 Pokrov.org affiliated with the larger group. Melanie has been the SNAP leader for the East Bay (San Francisco Bay area) since 2009.
Pete was born, raised and abused in Wimbledon, South West London. The youngest of 5 children he was abused by a family member from a very early age and by 3 teachers including 2 Jesuit priests at Secondary School. Like many survivors he didn't speak of the abuse he suffered until decades later at which point he could not find any support. Consequently he founded NAPAC, the National Association for People Abused in Childhood. NAPAC runs a national free phone Support Line for survivors of any form of abuse, Support Groups and campaigns for better child protection and support for victims/survivors.
NAPAC is the only national charity of its kind in the UK. It currently operates with 10 full-time members of staff and around 60 volunteers. It has friends all over the UK and across the world and is proud to stand alongside SNAP as one of its very best friends and allies. And Pete is delighted to be joining you in Chicago this year for a very special Anniversary! Pete is often to be found in the bar in the evening and he looks forward to you joining him!
Since 2002, Kathy has operated the Clergy Abuse Tracker, a daily blog of news reports worldwide about sexual abuse within religious institutions. BishopAccountability.org has hosted the Abuse Tracker since 2006. A journalist for more than 40 years, Kathy started writing stories about clergy sexual abuse for the Worcester MA Telegram & Gazette in the early 1990s. She searched in the woods of Canada to find one priest who had fled arrest for abusing youngsters at the youth home he operated. Her reporting was instrumental in getting him extradited back to the U.S., where he stood trial. A graduate of Becker College and Assumption College, Worcester, MA, Kathy also worked 11 years as a mental health crisis clinician and counselor.
Amy served as the Houston SNAP leader for a few years before recently moving to Dallas where she continues as a SNAP leader in DFW, assisting leaders there as the media contact. She strives to shine the light of truth on child sexual abuse and cover up of abuse within Baptist churches, as well as other churches and institutions where the vulnerable are harmed. Amy has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Baylor University. She writes at her blog, Watchkeep.
Dr. Michael O. Smith is a psychiatrist, acupuncturist, addiction specialist and public health planner who was the Director of Lincoln Hospital Recovery Center from 1974 to 2011 when he retired. He graduated from Wesleyan University and the University of California Medical School in San Francisco.
He is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Cornell Medical School and is certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is internationally known for developing the use of acupuncture in the field of chemical dependency. More than 2,000 treatment programs worldwide use the Lincoln Hospital model.
As Chairperson of the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA), Dr. Smith provided consultation to city, county, state, federal, and United Nations agencies in more than one hundred settings. He was the first person selected for the national drug court Hall of fame.
Pam Spees is a senior staff attorney in the international human rights program at the Center for Constitutional Rights, a legal and educational organization founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the U.S. south. She has a background in international criminal and human rights law with a gender focus, as well as criminal defense trial practice and is lead counsel in the legal effort to hold Vatican officials accountable under international law for crimes against humanity of rape and sexual violence within the church. Pam is the lead attorney from CCR representing SNAP in both the International Criminal Court and at the United Nations.
Sean Strub is a veteran AIDS activist and has been living with HIV since the late 1970s. His new book Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS and Survival (Scribner, January 2014) is a report from the front lines of the epidemic. Strub recounts the exciting days and nights of being a young man from Iowa, newly arrived in New York City’s gay community. He identifies the heroes and villains of the early years of AIDS. The bravery and the cowardice of politicians, doctors and everyday people. The victories and defeats in the difficult search for effective treatments. And the scores of lovers and friends he lost to the disease. But Body Counts is not merely a history book. It looks honestly at the current state of the epidemic—and offers crucial strategies on how we can work towards ending the AIDS crisis.
The City of Chicago is part of Cook County in Illinois. Larry Suffredin is the Cook County Commissioner for the 13th District. He was elected in November, 2002 and re-elected in 2006 and 2010. Larry serves as Chairman of the Board’s Legislation & Intergovernmental Relations Committee and is Chairman of the Board's Rules and Administration. He also serves on the Criminal Justice Committee, the Finance Committee, the Litigation Subcommittee, the Health and Hospitals Committee, the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Committee, the Human Relations Committee, the Pension Subcommittee, the Roads and Bridges Committee, the Veterans Committee, the Workforce, Job Development and Training Committee, the Zoning and Building Committee, and the Botanic Garden Committee of the Forest Preserve District.
Suffredin is a lifelong resident of Chicagoland, and is a highly successful attorney with a legal career spanning nearly three decades. He has extensive state and federal trial experience, and has argued cases before the United States and Illinois Supreme Courts as well as circuits of the United States Court of Appeals and the Illinois Appellate Court. As an attorney, Suffredin built a reputation as a government relations specialist at the local state, and federal levels, and is known for his broad knowledge of government and politics.
Suffredin received his Bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago and his law degree from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the United States Air Force Reserves and received an Honorable Discharge.
Boz Tchividjian is a former child abuse prosecutor who currently teaches Child Abuse and the Law at Liberty University School of Law. He has spent years using what he learned as a prosecutor to train and equip prosecutors, investigators, social workers, and medical personnel in handling child sexual abuse prosecutions.
He is the founder and executive director of GRACE, whose purpose is to educate and equip the faith community to correctly protect children and respond to sexual abuse disclosures. GRACE also works to serve and support those who have been abused in faith communities. Tchividjian currently writes a blog for Religion News Service entitled, “Rhymes with Religion” that focuses on the intersection of abuse and faith communities.
Mr. Tchividjian is a grandchild of Reverend Billy Graham and recently published a book entitled Thank You Billy Graham. Mr. Tchividjian has also authored numerous law journal articles related to the issue of child sexual abuse and is also the author of a new Mini Book entitled, Protecting Children from Abuse at Church: Steps to Prevent and Respond.
Vincent Warren is the Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a national legal and educational organization dedicated to advancing and defending the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Vince oversees CCR’s groundbreaking litigation and advocacy work which includes using international and domestic law to hold corporations and government officials accountable for human rights abuses; challenging racial, gender and LGBT injustice; and combating the illegal expansion of U.S. presidential power and policies such as illegal detention at Guantánamo Bay, rendition and torture. Prior to his tenure at CCR, Vince was a national senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where he litigated civil rights cases, focusing on affirmative action, racial profiling and criminal justice reform. Prior to the ACLU, Vince monitored South Africa’s historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings and worked as a criminal defense attorney for the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn.
Garry Wills is a prolific Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, journalist, and historian, specializing in American history, politics, and religion, especially the history of the Roman Catholic Church. Wills has written nearly 40 books and since 1973 and has been a frequent reviewer for the New York Review of Books. He became a faculty member of the history department at Northwestern University in 1980, where he is currently an Emeritus Professor of History. His criticism of the authority, doctrine and hierarchy of the Catholic church began more than half a century ago. In 1961, he coined the Latin phrase, "Mater si, magistra no," (literally "Mother yes, teacher no,"), meaning Catholics do not need to follow all the teachings of the church because they are not always the teachings of the Bible.