National- Clergy victims 'mixed' about politicians on campus rape
For immediate release: Friday, May 2, 2014
We are glad that Washington politicians are dealing with sexual violence on campuses and in the military. (And we are deeply impressed by and grateful for the brave victims who are fighting hard to prevent more sexual violence in these two arenas.) At the same time, however, we are sad that Washington politicians have largely ignored clergy sex crimes and cover ups.
For almost 30 years, the Catholic Church’s horrific and on-going clergy sexual abuse and cover up crisis has made national headlines. More than a dozen years ago, the scandal reached epic proportions.
Yet not a single official in Congress or the White House even called for a mild move like hearings on Capitol Hill. Not even one meaningless resolution was passed. A baseball steroid scandal prompted far more action and attention in Washington than the church hierarchy’s reckless, callous and deceitful handling of tens of thousands of clergy sex abuse reports against at least 6,200 U.S child molesting Catholic clerics.
A few athletes taking pills and injections generated more outrage among politicians than tens of thousands of kids getting raped and sodomized by priests and tens of thousands of crimes getting concealed by bishops.
We applaud every single victim, witness and whistleblower who is speaking up about the outrageous sexual violence at colleges and in the military. Their courage and tenacity - especially in the face of hide-bound traditions, secretive cultures, powerful officials and widespread indifference – is heroic. And it's painfully familiar.
(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)
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.