Pennsylvania is national leader in aggressively going after institutional child sex predators

By Ivey DeJesus, April 26, 2018, PennLive

More than any other state, Pennsylvania is aggressively going after child sex predators.

From multiple grand jury investigations into the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, a similar grand jury probe into the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, the prosecution of Jerry Sandusky and the investigation into systemic sex abuse of students at a New Hope private school, state prosecutors have positioned the state as arguably the most aggressive in the nation against child sex crimes.


Dear SNAP Network Family,

This summer at our annual SNAP Conference, we will be celebrating our 30th year of helping survivors, protecting children and raising awareness in the community. SNAP has changed the world with your efforts as well as working with other organizations such as Bishop Accountability and Center for Constitutional Rights.

Notable spectacular SNAP actions brought us onto the world stage. Barbara Blaine, Barb Dorris and David Clohessy called out the church hierarchy in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican and proclaimed the truth, reminiscent of Martin Luther. We made a formal complaint to the International Criminal Court. We have testified in front of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the UN Committee on Torture. We have stood on street corners, in front of churches and government buildings. We have spent hours helping other survivors. SNAP has been there because you have been there.

We are a network of survivors and supporters helping survivors. We exist because of the compassion and caring we share with each other. We also know that by helping others, we help ourselves. We are not alone.

SNAP arose from a support group started by our founder, Barbara Blaine. It grew and thrived. David Clohessy expanded our reach with powerful media events and press releases that exposed the depth and widespread nature of the abuse. Newspapers and television noticed. Barb Dorris excelled in giving all newcomers a compassionate welcome and propelled the organizational engine of SNAP with dedication.

Barbara Blaine, David Clohessy and Barb Dorris have left SNAP within the past fourteen months. Uncertainty and doubt surfaced with each of these departures. However, while leadership may change, the strength of our organization lies with its local leaders and supporters.

We have a strong foundation for that future with over 25,000 survivors and supporters within the SNAP network. We have thirty-one support groups throughout the United States. Our credibility and integrity has been forged over thirty years which enables us to speak with an authoritative voice. 

There is work to be done. We have powerful tools: our peer network of tens of thousands of survivors and the power of truth. We rely on your continued willingness to take up the battle, join arms with fellow ‘Snappers’ and fight for our future.

If you see child sexual abuse or your child has been sexually abused, call 911 or your local police immediately. 

If you suspect abuse, call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or visit the Child Help Hotline. Trained crisis operators staff the lines 24/7 to answer your questions. If necessary, they will show you how to report in your local area.

Child pornography is a federal crime. If you see or suspect images that may be child pornography, report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTip Line



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Barbara Blaine, founder of SNAP, passed away on Sunday, September 24th, 2017. Her dying was sudden and completely unexpected. Words cannot express our sorrow nor are there words to express our gratitude for her relentless advocacy. She truly was a hero. There is an old saying, “well behaved women seldom make history”. Barbara made history and the world is a better place.

We have put together a tribute for Barbara Blaine to honor her memory. If you would like to contribute a memory, please send your favorite memory of Barbara to