MO--Child sex abuse victims back Amendment 2
For immediate release: Thursday, Oct. 29
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
On Tuesday, we urge Missouri voters to pass Amendment 2 which will help protect kids by enabling law enforcement to catch and convict more child molesters at little or no cost whatsoever to taxpayers. It’s rare when a relatively small rule change can dramatically improve kids’ safety, but this is one instance in which that’s possible.
Judges should have the option to let jurors know about an accused predator’s earlier acts of sexual violence against youngsters. Those who sexually assault kids should not be able to hide their previous crimes.
Keep in mind that one in four girls and one in eight boys is sexually violated during childhood. So the legal status quo causes immeasurable, life-long harm to thousands and thousands of Missouri boys and girls every year. This must change. And the change must start with closing some of the legal loopholes that shrewd predators exploit to evade justice and keep molesting.
The Post-Dispatch reports that the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the Missouri Police Chiefs Association and the Missouri Sheriffs Association support the amendment.
And the Post editorializes “Even if just one part of this problem was improved by allowing the admissibility of such evidence — that young children could be spared the trauma of having to relive their abuse in a courtroom — it would be reason enough to recommend supporting Amendment 2.”
For the safety of Missouri children, we hope voters will back Amendment 2.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 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)