AUSTRALIA- Survivors welcome charge against Bishop Wilson for failing to report child sex crime
For immediate release: Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Statement by Nicky Davis, Leader, SNAP Australia, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (email@example.com, 0422 538 440)
Survivors’ long wait for any senior church official in Australia to be held responsible for covering up widespread and systemic child sex crimes is finally over.
At last those who enable and coverup the sexual exploitation of defenseless children are no longer a protected species. We hope this charge is the first of many.
For too long, survivors have seen those responsible for enforcing laws against covering up child sex crimes ignore evidence and fail to investigate case after case.
Most institutional child sexual violence involves senior officials refusing to act, not reporting to police, and allowing predators continued access to their favourite prey.
In NSW this is, and has long been, against the law.
But it is almost never investigated, and there have been no convictions.
Now, thanks to dedicated officers like Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox risking his career to demand action, and courageous survivors, soon no-one in Australia will be above the law.
This one criminal charge will protect more Australian children than decades of empty promises and expensive PR by church officials.
However given the Vatican’s track record of providing a safe haven for child sex predators and those who coverup their crimes, it might be advisable to require Archbishop Wilson to surrender his passport.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
CONTACT- Nicky Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org, 0422 538 440); David Clohessy (314-566-9790, email@example.com); Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org);Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org)
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.