For immediate release: Monday, August 26, 2013
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Twenty five men have settled their child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits against Penn State.
We have two messages to these brave men who were hurt by Jerry Sandusky: “Thank you” and “Be forewarned.”
Thank you for stepping forward, protecting others, exposing wrongdoing, and inspiring others. It’s almost always easy to sit back and do nothing. It’s almost always tempting to stay quiet and let others stick their necks out.
And when it comes to the safety of kids, that course of action is also irresponsible. So thank you for acting with courage and compassion. Thank you for helping to shine a light on heinous crimes and cover ups. Thank you for helping to prevent such crimes and cover ups in the future.
Our warning to these courageous Sandusky victims: The checks will change little, if anything. Sadly, a settlement – of any size – won’t magically and suddenly end depression, insomnia, addictions, eating disorders or anger issues. It’ won’t restore shattered trust or stolen childhoods.
It will deter future cover ups of child sex crimes. Please try to take comfort and pride in that.
And please stay in therapy, 12 step programs and support groups. Please continue the painstaking progress you have made and are making toward recovery from this trauma. Please do NOT get complacent.
Finally, though we are glad the first Sandusky cases have settled, we hope that at least one of them goes to trial.
We strongly suspect there’s more to this whole sordid affair than has surfaced. We are convinced that a trial – in open court, where defendants face tough questions under oath – is the best way to fully expose the wrongdoing of Sandusky’s peers and supervisors.
And we strongly believe that Pennsylvania taxpayers and citizens deserve to know the full truth about Sandusky’s crimes and the university’s cover up.
We are deeply grateful to every single victim who has helped protect the vulnerable and expose the complicity. It takes real courage for any child sex abuse victim – but especially one hurt by a powerful and charismatic man like Sandusky in a climate like Penn State’s – to speak up. Each time a victim does this, he or she should be applauded. Each time a victim does this, kids are safer and wrongdoing is deterred.