MT- Gender bias plaguing Missoula county attorney office
For immediate release: Friday, February 21, 2014
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)
The Missoula county attorney’s office has failed to prosecute “nearly every case” of non-stranger rapes.
The US Justice Department reported that gender bias and stereotypes are the likely reason prosecutors failed to press charges, even in cases where they had a confession. Women in the county repeatedly told the Justice Department that they were treated with “indifference and disrespect”, they were told “boys will be boys” or had the bible quoted to them.
This level of ignorance and backwards thinking is appalling. The prosecutor’s office might as well have said “the victim was asking for it”. We are disappointed that the Missoula county attorney’s office seems to be stuck in the Middle Ages. We hope the Justice Department letter will knock some sense into Missoula officials and that victims and witnesses will not be discouraged to keep doing the right thing and working for justice.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, firstname.lastname@example.org), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, email@example.com)
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.
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.