IL--Victims applaud jail time for Hastert
For immediate release: Wednesday, April 27
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, national president member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747)
We’re grateful that Dennis Hastert will be jailed. Jailing child molesters, even elderly ones, is the best way to protect kids. Jailing him might also deter others from hiding child sex crimes.
In our view, jail time is more about prevention than punishment. It will also help encourage others who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes to protect kids by calling police, exposing wrongdoers and seeking justice.
A key lesson here is this line from Dr. Martin Luther King: “No lie lives forever.” We hope those who commit or conceal horrific sexual violence will remember, and be deterred by, this simple truth.
Another key lesson here is this: A child molester’s title should never be a factor in his or her being held responsible for their crimes. Whether you’re a politician, a pastor or a plumber, if you commit or conceal child sex crimes, you will be held to the same standard as everyone else.
When a powerful person goes to jail, it sends a message of hope to kids being abused. That’s a key message that this sentence sends.
We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in schools, churches or institutions – no matter how powerful the predator may seem – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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.
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.