GA--Clergy sex abuse victims to start new support group
For immediate release: Monday, August 8, 2016
An international self-help organization for men and women who were molested by religious leaders will hold its first confidential support group meeting in Savannah on Tuesday, August 9th.
Michael Corbett, who is the Savannah director for the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), explained why he is starting a local support group.
“SNAP was there when I needed it. The other members understood what I had been through, because they had had similar experiences. Sharing my story with them helped me tremendously on my healing journey, and I want to share that gift with others.”
In 1993 Corbett was a 17 year old Boston teenager when he was sexually assaulted by a Catholic priest, Father Robert Gale. In 2001, the Savannah SNAP leader was interviewed by the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team for their Pulitzer Prize winning exposé of the cover up of child sexual abuse in the Boston Archdiocese. Gale was convicted as a result. The Globe’s investigation was the subject of the movie Spotlight, which won the Academy Award for best picture earlier this year.
Barbara Dorris, the long-time National Outreach Director for SNAP, will be on hand to help launch the new support group, and she also commented on the launch.
“We hope that by starting these meetings we can reach out to local victims who are still suffering in silence. We urge both survivors and their supporters to join us on Tuesday. By sharing their truths people realize that they are not alone, and they can begin to heal.”
The confidential support group – for both religious sex abuse victims and for their families – will be held at 7:00 pm. on August 9th. The location is not being made public, in order to protect the privacy of the participants. Those interested in attending should contact Corbett (508-207-7418, Savannah@SNAPnetwork.org) or Dorris (314-503-0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org) for the location of the meeting.
SNAP is a nonprofit organization started in 1988 and based in Chicago. The survivors’ group has over 20,000 members in the US and around the world. Its mission is to heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable. SNAP has no affiliation with any church organization and is open to victims hurt in any denomination.
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.