Massachusetts Church Officials Announce 15 New Cases

Catholic officials from the Diocese of Springfield, MA have announced that they received 15 new reports of child sexual abuse last year.

We are grateful that victims are stepping forward and making reports of their abuse and we applaud the bravery of those who are speaking up today. By coming forward about what happened to them, victims help protect children and prevent future cases of abuse. When these survivors do come forward, we hope they will first seek independent sources of help like police, therapists and support groups, before contacting church officials.

Based on revelations from recent investigations into clergy sexual abuse, we are not confident of the claim that ‘all new cases have been referred to the relevant district attorney.’ While we hope this is the case, we believe that victims, witnesses and whistleblowers should play it safe and call law enforcement authorities directly.

Nor are we confident that ‘Only eight incidents are listed as having happened in this century,’ as the diocese claims. Church officials have long and troubling track records of being dishonest or disingenuous about this continuing crisis.

Regardless of what Catholic figures claim, church goers and staff should not get complacent. Complacency protects no one, and so we urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered abuse – in Massachusetts or elsewhere – to come forward and make a report to secular authorities.

 CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(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)


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