Aussie- Report delivers hope for justice at last amid attack on whistleblower
For immediate release: Saturday, May 31, 2014
Statement by Nicky Davis, SNAP Australia Leader (04 4901 8594 firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests welcomes the finding of the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry, released yesterday, which revealed that there were grounds for charges to be laid against one senior Australian Catholic church official.
According to Nicky Davis, of SNAP Australia, “We urge the NSW Government and the Department of Public Prosecutions to end the decades of inaction on this issue and finally bring a first Australian prosecution of a Catholic official for the cover-up of child sex crimes.”
“We hope this will be the first of many prosecutions, as both Australian and international experience indicate the cover-up is not a unique situation.”
“Indeed a new Australian book, Potiphar’s Wife, by Kieran Tapsell, launched this week, explains in detail the Vatican policy requiring Catholic bishops to cover-up child sex crimes by priests and other religious.”
"This new evidence supports claims by survivors that cover-up of the crimes against us is so common it should be considered a feature of these crimes and investigated in every case.”
“The queue of Australian survivors wanting the cover-up of the crimes against them investigated is lengthy. Many possess documents proving a cover-up, which have never been followed up by police.”
“Hopefully this Commission, prompted by the bravery of Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox’s revelations, will open the floodgates for justice to finally be available to all victims of these despicable crimes.”
Nicky Davis said, “The first conviction and prison sentence for a senior church official for the cover-up of child rape will be a major step forward in child protection in Australia, and indeed the world. We have long asserted that sending Bishops to prison is what it will take for Catholic officials to stop endangering children in their efforts to protect the church’s reputation. Unfortunately as time goes on, that prediction is proving all too true.”
Ms. Davis expressed disappointment that in other respects the report did not break with the tradition of strenuous efforts to discredit and punish a whistleblower. “I was present at many of the public hearing days, as were many survivors, and it certainly felt like the inquiry had been instructed to find ways to undermine Peter Fox, rather than understand any basis for his claims.”
“Some survivors were in tears at the obvious difference in how the Inquiry treated Peter Fox, compared to other witnesses.”
SNAP expresses full support for Peter Fox, who exposed himself and his family to retaliation and intimidation because of his call for a national Royal Commission. “The fact that we are right now in the middle of a broad and powerful inquiry into our nation’s disgraceful abandonment of vulnerable children in their time of need is largely due to the bravery of Peter Fox in speaking truth to power.”
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 18,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by those in positions of authority including priests, nuns, rabbis, bishops, Protestant ministers, Scout leaders, teachers and coaches. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact – Nicky Davis, SNAP Australia Leader (04 4901 8594 email@example.com) David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com)
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.
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.