FL- Predatory doctor sued; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Thursday, Aug. 7, 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)
Dr. Manuel Abreu has been sued again for sexual assault. We applaud this second brave woman for taking steps to protect others from a dangerous man.
Often, when a predator is exposed, others who've been hurt stay silent, assuming that justice will be done and that their voice and experiences aren't needed to convict him. That's a reckless assumption. Powerful predators often get expensive lawyers, lie shrewdly, exploit technicalities, fool juries, and get off with light or no penalties. Then, they usually abuse again.
This injustice can be prevented. But only if those who see, suspect, or suffer these crimes find the courage to step forward. That's what this second courageous victim has done. We applaud her for her strength and compassion.
No one victim of sexual assault should carry the burden of prosecuting a predator alone. We beg every single person with knowledge of or suspicions about Dr. Abreu’s crimes – whether as a colleague or client, a peer or a patient – to overcome fears and call police. That's what will protect the vulnerable and bring real healing.
Finally, let's remind everyone that officials at Personal Physician Care hired and worked with Dr. Abreu and that there's a police investigation into the doctor. So Dr. Abreu's colleagues have a moral and civic duty to help law enforcement with this prosecution. We hope they'll use their website and mailing list to alert their patients and the public about these serious allegations.
(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 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)
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.
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.