IL- Clergy sex abuse group marks 25th anniversary
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
For more information: David Clohessy (314-566-9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Clergy sex abuse victims hold 25th anniversary conference in Chicago
Group celebrates 25 years of “growth, healing, justice and prevention”
Speakers include Pulitzer prize winner and noted St. Paul whistleblower
The world's largest and oldest support group for men and women sexually abused as children will be celebrating its 25th anniversary at a Chicago conference August 1.
SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), was founded in Chicago in 1988 by clergy abuse survivor Barbara Blaine. What started as an informal group of survivors is now a global network, with support group meetings in 65 US cities and members in 79 countries.
SNAP has become the leading voice in the fight against sexual abuse in religious and institutional settings, with leaders continually quoted as experts by the global media on the topics of abuse, cover-up and healing. The group's advocacy on behalf of survivors has exposed abuse and cover-up around the world, including the Vatican.
The SNAP Annual Conference will bring together experts in the area of clergy sex crimes, law enforcement, psychology, health, healing, advocacy, and research. This event attracts hundreds of survivors and supporters from the US, Canada, South America, Africa and Europe.
“This is a huge year for us,” said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP’s outreach director. “It's not often that survivors can celebrate a victory like a 25th anniversary of protecting the vulnerable and healing the wounded. Our goals are to make sure that we come together to learn, celebrate, and kick off another successful 25 years.”
The event will be held August 1-3 at Hyatt McCormick Place, 2233 South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Chicago, IL.
Justice Anne Burke, Illinois Supreme Court Justice
Jennifer Haselberger, canon lawyer and whistleblower
Jason Berry, award-winning journalist and author
Vincent Warren, Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights
Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Regional Director
Kiera Feldman, investigative journalist
Boz Tchividjian, Founder and Executive Director of GRACE: Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment and former child abuse prosecutor
Michael D’Antonio, Pulitzer-prize winning author
(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)
Contact – Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com
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.