Ireland- Magdalene laundries survivors asked to sign waivers, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
The Irish government has sent a letter to survivors asking them to sign a waiver to receive their lump sum reparations.
We are sickened by this deceitful move against victims who have suffered so much already. The waiver they are being asked to sign is an agreement to the full terms of the redress scheme and give up any right of action against the state. The full terms have not even been finalized yet.
The government has defended its position by stating that the victims can postpone accepting the terms until they have legally been finalized, but a victims group says that the language of the letter is so vague, that option was not immediately clear.
The suffering these women endured for years is heartbreaking. The fact that the government is not being transparent with them now is maddening. We hope that the government will back track and start being now transparent. We hope that all the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries will stand up for their rights.
(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.