Local SNAP Leader Calls on Pennsylvania State Senate to Give Survivors a Day in Court
For immediate release, October 19 2018
SNAP Philadelphia Leader Michael McDonnell has called on the Pennsylvania State Senate to add additional legislative days to this years calendar and revive their work on statutes of limitations reform. On Wed. Oct. 17th, Senate GOP leaders pushed a bill that would have allowed victims of childhood sexual abuse by the clergy to file a civil suit but only on their perpetrator, leaving institutions like the Catholic church without fault. We believe that this proposal is unacceptable because the institutions who enabled the years of cover-up must be also held accountable alongside the abusers themselves.
Given that so many survivors were abused as children, they often do not come forward with their experiences until many years later. Providing for a two-year window would not only give survivors their much-asked-for day in court but will afford a chance at accountability for both those who prey on children and vulnerable adults as well as the institutions that have enabled them.
“We hope the Pennsylvania State Senate sees the importance of getting S.B. 261 to the floor, with Rep. Mark Rozzi's amendment, for a full Senate vote,” said McDonnell. “Victims deserve their day in court.”
CONTACT: Michael McDonnell, (firstname.lastname@example.org, 267-261-0578)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. 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.