National--Victims group blasts child marriage
For immediate release: Wednesday, Oct. 14
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP outreach director (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)
Thousands of kids in the US are getting married, often to adults and with court approval, according to alarming statistics in today’s New York Times. This must stop.
Lawmakers should quickly forbid such unions. And judges should immediately stop approving such unions.
A moratorium on this controversial and unhealthy practice is the most prudent first step in ensuring the rights and safety of children.
How can we claim that a girl too young to drive a car or a boy too young to vote can make a lifelong, binding legal pledge? That’s absurd and abusive.
We must be sensitive to beliefs that are different from our own. But we must not let adults endanger or victimize children because of their beliefs, whether religious or cultural. We have a duty to boys and girls to clearly distinguish between belief and behavior. The former we tolerate. The latter we sometimes tolerate. But not when it brings hurts individuals who are too young to make choices of this magnitude.
(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.