Michigan launches state-wide investigation, SNAP responds
For immediate release, September 23, 2018
Statement by Tim Lennon, SNAP President, tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org, 415-312-5820
We commend Michigan's Attorney General for initiating an investigation of the seven Catholic dioceses in that state. Such an effort will give voice to the hundreds of victims who have been hurt, many of whom have suffered in silence for decades. A thorough investigation will provide an opportunity for victims to achieve a measure of justice by holding predators and their enablers accountable.
Michigan joins many other states who have initiated a state-wide investigation or are exploring that possibility, including NY, NJ, IL, FL, CA, NM, and others. There may be more: we only know of the Michigan investigation because it was disclosed in the wake of a freedom of information request.
We implore the Attorney General to establish a hotline for victims and survivors to report the harm they have suffered. A hotline has been used to great effect in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In the month following the release of the Grand Jury Report the Pennsylvania hotline received an additional thousand calls, with no end yet in sight.
PA hot line 888-538-8541 still taking calls NJ hotline 877-652-2873 NY hotline 800-771-7755.
In the meantime, we encourage all survivors to contact the Michigan Attorney General.
(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.