AUS - Prime Minister launches commission into sex abuse, SNAP responds
We applaud Prime Minister Julia Gillard for this move, but caution that this is only a first step. Aggressive investigation of all clergy sex crimes and cover ups by institutional leaders, church officials and law enforcement - regardless of when they happened or where the wrongdoers are now - must happen simultaneously.
Particular focus should be on religious orders which often hide and transfer predator priests even more often and more effectively than bishops do.
Regardless of how this governmental inquiry proceeds, it's imperative that victims, witnesses and whistleblowers continue to find the courage and strength to step forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and begin healing.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.