National--Colleges spend millions on sex misdeeds
For immediate release: Tuesday, March 29
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, national president member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747)
Colleges are spending “millions to hire lawyers, investigators, case workers, survivor advocates, peer counselors, workshop leaders and other officials to deal with increasing numbers of (sex abuse and harassment) complaints,” reports the New York Times.
We are thrilled by this news. What could be better for school officials to spend money on than the safety of students and staff?
The Times reports that it’s hard to calculate the cost of Title IX compliance at colleges. It’s even tougher, however, to calculate the costs of sex crimes and sexual misdeeds. Those include both “coping” costs –like medicine and therapy for deeply wounded young people – and the far more common and ultimately hurtful costs – like devastated psyches, addictions, self-destructive behaviors, shattered self-confidence and lost earnings.
In short, we’ll never know how many promising young lives are radically derailed because of rape, harassment and other sexual misconduct on college campuses. It’s long past time for school officials to work much harder to prevent sexual misdeeds and respond appropriately when they are reported.
The complexities of (sex crimes and harassment) have been “wrenching for students, faculty members and administrators,” the newspaper reports. We are sure that’s true. We’re equally sure, however, these complexities are crucial to address. And we’re grateful that, largely because of federal pressure, they are being addressed, albeit sometimes imperfectly.
(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)
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.