CA- Contra Costa officials want review of child abuse reporting law, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Monday, May 19, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Contra Costa officials, including the DA and the police chief, want a review of the child abuse reporting law and a possible changing of the law. We are grateful officials not only want a review of this law, but are speaking out publically about it.
As the law stands now there is a one year statute of limitations for mandatory reporting violations. When a child is sexually violated often times it is not just the perpetrator who is guilty of causing serious harm. More often than not somebody knew or suspected the abuse, but stayed silent.
We have mandatory reporting laws for a reason. To put a restrictive statute of limitation on holding those who broke the law and harmed children responsible is wrong. Any statute of limitation involving child sexual abuse hurts children and helps the guilty. And we hope it is changed.
(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.