INTL- Dutch Catholic church paid millions to victims, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Thousands of Dutch clergy sex abuse victims registered with a commission collecting complaints. We are glad that so many victims in Holland were able to come forward and report their abuse, but we suspect there are many more suffering in silence and self-blame.
The commission was set up after the abuse scandal broke in Holland in 2010 and the deadline was June 30, 1,585 people came forward, with 448 receiving payments. The commission was meant to offer reparations to victims whose perpetrator died or the statute of limitations prevented criminal justice. We are concerned that now that the deadline is past other victims will stay silent.
While no amount of money can repair what Catholic officials so callously broke, it does help. We hope that anyone who is suffering in silence and self-blame and missed the deadline will not be discouraged and will speak up, expose wrong doing and start healing.
(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)