IA- Victims glad for extension to SOL, but more action is needed
For immediate release: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 8627688, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Yesterday the Iowa senate unanimously approved an extension to the statute of limitations. We applaud this action.
The Iowa Senate bill will extend the statue of limitations to 25 years past the age of 18, giving deeply wounded victims a longer window to come forward. Now it needs to pass the house, and be signed into law as quickly as possible, to encourage those victims that have remained silent to come forward and receive some justice under the law that they have always deserved.
However, we disagree with the term used by one legislator that this bill now “cures” the injustice that has existed for so many years. This bill would address the need for a larger window for action by victims, except for those that may be now over the age of 43. We strongly believe that many victims are in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond, and although they may have wanted, or presently want, to come forward, this has always been denied them, and this bill continues to perpetuate this wrong by still denying them due process. Having a longer window is key to prevention. If predators know they can be prosecuted they may not attack children.
We call on the legislature to pass a bill offering perhaps a onetime window of opportunity for these victims, so that they may truly have an opportunity to seek justice under the law and to prevent future abuse. We of SNAP know of many, many victims that have been abused as young people, and this bill will offer them no relief. We continue to call out on behalf of all victims, that this is one crime where a statue of limitations does not enhance the law, but provides a hiding place for those that prey on others.
(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 15,000 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.