IL--Group says: “Seek other Hastert victims”

IL--Group says: “Seek other Hastert victims”

Group says: “Seek other Hastert victims

Yorkville civic & school staff “must reach out,” SNAP urges

Organization calls some of ex-Speaker’s defenders “callous”

Praising Hastert may silence others “still suffering in silence,” SNAP warns

SNAP also pushes for statute of limitations reform “to prevent this in the future

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, abuse victims and supporters will

--urge Yorkville school/civic officials to “seek out others with information about Dennis Hastert,”

--blast some Hastert backers for making “insensitive public remarks” that intimidate victims,

--praise federal agents and prosecutors for pursuing charges against him,

--urge others in law enforcement to “be more creative” in exposing abusers,

--beg those who may have “seen, suspected or suffered” abuse by Hastert to “speak up,” and

--prod Illinois lawmakers to give victims more time to take legal action against child molesters to prevent these types of situations from happening in the future

WHEN

TODAY, Saturday, May 30 at 3:30 pm  

WHERE

At Federal Plaza, 50 W Adams (corner of Dearborn) in downtown Chicago

WHO

Three-four members of a support group for clergy sex abuse victims called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

WHY

Some media sources report that prosecutors have talked with two victims of alleged child sex crimes by ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert. SNAP fears there may be more and is calling on Yorkville area school and law enforcement officials to “aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or cover-ups” by the retired politician.

And SNAP is criticizing some of Hastert’s backers (including Senator Mark Kirk) who express concern for the accused predator and his family but not for his alleged victims.

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SNAP says it's important that Hastert's supporters, when publicly discussing this case, use discretion and compassion so they “don't inadvertently cause others who may have been abused to stayed trapped in silence, shame and self-blame and rub more salt into their already-deep and still-fresh wounds.”

“It's hurtful when well-intentioned adults praise an accused abuser. It makes wounded and depressed victims of sexual violence - by any predator - less apt to call police, report abuse, protect others and start healing,” notes SNAP president Barbara Blaine.

“Defend Hastert if you must. But don't attack his accuser,” says SNAP’s Barbara Dorris. “And support Hastert privately and in ways that don't deter others who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes into remaining silent.”

Hastert might have been exposed years earlier had Illinois lawmakers reformed the state’s “archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations, which gives most child sex abuse victims very little time to file civil lawsuits or criminal prosecution against sex offenders,” SNAP maintains. The group is calling on legislator to adopt a civil “window” – as four others states have done – enabling child sex abuse victims hurt by anyone at any time to expose predators through our open, time-tested justice system.”

Some are skeptical because Hastert’s alleged abuse happened years ago. But SNAP says that if kids are to be safer from sexual violence, “all adults must welcome abuse reports no matter when they surface.”

“It almost always takes decades for child sex abuse victims to realize what happened to them was criminal and hurtful and find the strength to report it,” Blaine stressed.

CONTACT

Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org), David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, davidgclohessy@gmail.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)  

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