MD – Survivors’ group reacts to arrest of three church leaders for sexual abuse
For immediate release, May 24, 2018
Statement by Becky Ianni, Volunteer SNAP Leader for Washington, DC, 703-801-6044, SNAPVirginia@cox.net
The head pastor of Oxon Hill Assembly of Jesus Christ, Joshua Wright, his son and church minister William Wright, and Joshua Wright’s son-in-law and church member Donald Jackson have been charged with sexually abusing four teenage girls over a decade ago. Jackson is also a United States Capitol Police Officer.
As survivors of sexual abuse, we are always grateful to see law enforcement take the witness of self-identified victims seriously. While we do not have any firsthand information about this case, research has shown that false allegations of sexual abuse are extremely rare.
Sadly, we also know that abusers can come from all walks of life, including leaders in religious communities and law enforcement. It is especially disturbing when those in such positions of power prey on children who are even more vulnerable than most, as is alleged in this case. The four victims were all enrolled in a faith-based program meant to help at-risk youth, Children Having Overcoming Power (CHOP).
We commend the bravery of these four women in bringing their allegations to the police in Prince George’s County. We hope that their courage will spur anyone with information about criminal behavior in the CHOP program or elsewhere to report to law enforcement.
It is never too late to speak out and begin healing. There are people, and groups like ours, who will believe you and support you.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world's oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 supporters. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org )
SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (email@example.com, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-708-6175)
If you are looking to help spread the word about the importance of this summit and for survivors to be heard, add your voice to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PBC2019. Be sure to follow SNAP on twitter and Facebook and share our posts, add your comments, and let the world know that we are watching!Learn More