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What: Only twenty criminal investigations have been launched in Switzerland against Roman Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse since 2010, despite church authorities admitting charges against 172 alleged offenders spanning fifty years. The Conference of Swiss Bishops states that many accused employees simply cannot be found. The diocese has provided investigators with incomplete data about its affairs and employees, and we question whether it is withholding information about the identities, crimes, and whereabouts of accused employees. Instead of passively waiting for criminal investigations to run their course, the Church should be actively working to assist in every way. Church officials should be reaching out to current and former employees for any information and calling upon parishioners to come forward with any knowledge about alleged crimes.
Why: Less than one in eight reported cases of clergy sexual abuse are being investigated because the diocese has provided "very incomplete" information about its affairs and employees. We see no evidence that Swiss Catholic officials have taken other steps to locate alleged offenders. Victims should not have to be the driving force behind an investigation, and vulnerable children and adults should not be placed at risk while church officials passively wait for investigations to run their course.
How to complete Act 17: Comment on the Swiss article - Sex abuse by priests little pursued: report
As you plan what you want to say, consider these key points:
- Stress that Swiss Catholic officials should spare no expense to locate alleged offenders, instead of offering incomplete information and waiting for investigations to run their course.
- Emphasize that if sexual offenders are not located and removed from parishes, it is highly likely that they will abuse more children and adults.
- Encourage anyone who has experienced, witnessed, or has information about sexual abuse in the Swiss Catholic Church to report to the police.
Or copy and paste the statement of support below:
"If Swiss Catholic officials do not do everything in their power to assist in locating alleged offenders, it is highly likely that more children and adults will become victims of sexual abuse. Church officials should not sit back and offer incomplete information while investigations ride on victim testimonies. They should reach out to employees and parishioners and encourage them to speak out. Now more than ever, it is imperative that anyone who has experienced, witnessed, or has information about sexual crimes in the Swiss Catholic Church to report to police so that further abuse might be prevented!"
When: Please take action by next Friday, June 12.
Wait - you're not finished yet! Once you've completed the action, in order to get credit for this Act, you must do two things:
1) Check the box below that says "I Completed Act 17."
2) Show the team what you did! Copy and paste your comment into the blue section below marked COMMENTS.
And let us know if you have questions - we're here to help! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns.
Remember – your voice counts! When we expose the lies, we stand up for victims and take power away from the abusers. When we all speak out together, we create a movement that the world cannot ignore.
So let’s SNAP into action!
SNAP Action Team