MI - Clergy not required to report abuse; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Friday, August 23, 2013
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
We’re disappointed that a Michigan judge is letting a minister off the hook for refusing to report suspected child sex abuse. Decades of excessive deference to religious figures in child sex cases has led to tens of thousands of devastated lives. Our society – especially our judges and lawmakers – must make it abundantly clear that every single adult has a duty to call police when he or she fears a child is being hurt.
We can protect kids and respect belief at the same time. But we can’t let an adult’s belief trump a child’s safety.
We hope that Michigan’s highest court will reverse this tragic ruling.
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.