UK--Victims group responds to alarming abuse stats
For immediate release: Wednesday, May 13
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Though the figures are alarming, we are deeply grateful that the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) has disclosed that more than 1,400 prominent men are accused child sex abuse. Even more, we are deeply grateful to the hundreds of brave, wounded men, women and teenagers who have found the strength to break their silence and report their abuse. Their courage is making kids safer.
We’re also glad that law enforcement resources are being shifted to abuse cases. That should continue and in fact escalate. Because child sex crimes are so devastating and apt to be repeated, we feel there should be no higher priority for police and prosecutors and government officials than to aggressively prosecute, convict, expose and deter those who would commit or conceal heinous crimes against children.
We urge authorities to focus heavily on investigations into the 357 different institutions linked to the alleged abuse. We believe few predators can be deterred from perpetrating child sex crimes. But most of their work colleagues and supervisors CAN be deterred from ignoring, enabling, and minimizing those crimes. And that happens best when those who see or suspect child sex crimes but stay silent or hide them are severely punished.
Thousands more child sex abuse victims are still trapped in shame, confusion, guilt and self-blame. We beg them to get help, speak up, expose predators, protect kids, help police, 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. 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.