For immediate release, February 2, 2017
The 50-year systemic cover-up of sexual abuse at Solebury School is tragic, but not unique. Institutions like private schools, public schools, universities like Penn State, and churches—if they are able—will always protect themselves before they will expose a sex abuse scandal that could tarnish their reputation.
The only way to expose abuse in organizations like these—and to protect children right now who may be at risk—is to do three things: empower more grand juries nationwide to investigate these organizations, encourage victims to come forward and report, and—most important—pass victim-friendly legislation that allows victims to meet the burden of proof and use the civil justice system to expose their abuser, not matter when the abuse occurred.
In the meantime, we encourage parents of students at Solebury School to think very carefully about where they are sending their children and their money. It takes a long time to turn around a 50-year history of abuse and cover-up. It is terribly naive to believe that such a long history would stop with their child. There are many good schools without sex abuse scandals that provide suitable education options. Never support an institution over your child's safety.
If you have information about Solebury School, or are a victim of abuse, no matter the abuser, report to law enforcement. It is safe to report and vital that victims of abuse get help and healing.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested in all institutional settings, including churches, schools, clubs, and homes. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Joelle Casteix (949) 322-7434 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org, Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)