MA- Lawmakers pass child sex abuse reform bill
For immediate release Thursday, July 19 2014
Statement by Kathryn Robb (email@example.com 781-856-7207 cell), a board member of Massachusetts Citizens for Children and a member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those abused by Priests and an advocate for this legislation
A bill to reform Massachusetts archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations on child sex crimes has passed the State Senate today. (It passed the House earlier.)
We are grateful to the many determined victims and advocates who have made this progress possible. While this measure is far from perfect, we're encouraged by it. Any legislation that gives more child sex abuse victims more chances to expose more predators in court is positive. We are grateful as well for the hard work by Rep. John Lawn and Senator William Brownsberger on this crucial bill.
At the same time, however, we hope Massachusetts lawmakers will do more to enable victims to also expose those who conceal child sex crimes. That would give employers more incentive to act promptly, transparently and responsibly when abuse reports arise and to take stronger steps to prevent abuse and cover up in the future.
(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 18,000 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.