California AG begins gathering information on clergy sexual abuse, SNAP applauds the move
California's attorney general announced today that he is soliciting complaints and information regarding incidents of sexual misconduct by clergy members. SNAP applauds this important development.
We are grateful that Attorney General Xavier Becerra has followed in the footsteps of twenty of his colleagues across the nation and taken the first step towards an investigation of clergy sexual abuse in California. We hope that Mr. Becerra’s office will also open a confidential hotline, in addition to the complaint form and email address provided.
SNAP is also delighted that, like the investigation already underway in Florida, Mr. Becerra is not limiting his information gathering to one specific faith community. While our organization may have its roots in the abuse that took place, and is still taking place, in the Catholic Church, years of experience working with survivors has shown us that no religious group is free from this scourge.
As of this writing, 19 other states and Washington D.C. have begun investigations. We hope that this action in California will encourage attorneys general who have yet to open their own investigation to consider doing so. SNAP believes that independent investigations by law enforcement are the best way to help survivors heal, promote justice, and begin developing prevention strategies for the future.
CONTACT: Melanie Sakoda, Secretary (925-708-6175, firstname.lastname@example.org), Dan McNevin (415-341-6417, email@example.com), Joey Piscitelli (925-262-3699, firstname.lastname@example.org), Zach Hiner, Executive Director ( 517-974-9009, email@example.com)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is 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.