CA--Victims applaud new civil suit vs. Cosby & urge more to sue
For immediate release: Thursday, Dec. 4
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)
We applaud the brave woman who is suing Bill Cosby for allegedly abusing her decades ago as a child. That takes real courage. We hope other women and girls who were assaulted by this shrewd predator will find ways to seek justice against him.
Ever so gradually, courts are more open to novel arguments that overcome the archaic, predator-friendly statutes of limitations that protect child molesters. And ever so gradually, legislators are suspending, extending or eliminating those arbitrary and unwise statutes. Kids are safer as a result.
The bar for criminal prosecution is high. Police and prosecutors often feel pressured to focus largely on recent crimes. And few in law enforcement relish the idea of taking on a popular, powerful and wealthy defendant like Cosby.
So criminal charges against Cosby are unlikely. So if innocent children are to be protected and wounded adults are to be healed, civil justice must happen. Civilized societies pursue war criminals decades after their wrongdoing. Our Justice Department pursues racists who terrorized African Americans during the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. So why can’t we also pursue those who terrorize kids decades late, especially given research that shows child molesters rarely stop?
Why should Cosby’s victims sue? To help themselves find closure and recovery. To inspire other child sex abuse victims to speak up. To expose how inadequate our child safety laws are. And to remind us all that no legal deadline should prevent wounded victims from exposing criminals in court.
We hope the revelations against Cosby will prod more victims to sue and more lawmakers to reform hurtful laws that block victims from justice.
(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)