Canada- Victims win landmark lawsuit
For immediate release: Thursday, July 10, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A group of victims who suffered abuse at a Catholic school in Quebec have won their unprecedented lawsuit. We are grateful to the brave victims who came forward and demanded truth and justice.
In this first-ever lawsuit to go to trial, a group of priests, the Redemptorists, the Seminaire St-Alphonse and Fr. Raymond-Marie Lavoie were found guilty of abusing and covering up decades of child sexual abuse. At least 70 victims came forward in this case. We suspect that there are dozens of others who remain trapped in shame, silence, confusion and self blame.
We are grateful to the judge who found Catholic officials guilty of such heinous crimes. Because of the actions of these brave men, children will be safer.
We hope Redemptorists officials will work hard to reach out to anyone who saw, suspects or suffered child sex crimes and urge them to come forward and get help.
And we hope other clergy sex abuse victims throughout Canada will be inspired by the bravery of these victims and take similar steps to expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 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)
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.