NJ- Survivor released from confidentiality agreement, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Friday, June 06, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
A New Jersey clergy sex abuse victim has essentially won his lawsuit which frees him from a church-imposed gag order. He is to be commended. We are grateful for this brave victim who has tirelessly worked to expose the truth and protect children.
And Catholic officials at Delbarton School should be ashamed of themselves.
William P. Wolfe was sexually abused by Fr. Timothy Brennan at Delbarton school. Brennan later plead guilty to child sexual abuse. Wolfe signed a confidentially agreement with the school, which prevented him from healing, exposing the truth and helping to prevent future abuse.
Confidentially agreements put children at risk. Victims are often manipulated into signing them when they are at one of their most vulnerable moments. We are glad Wolfe was released from his. And we are grateful Wolfe has reached out to other victims through his newspaper interview. We hope others gain courage from him and work to expose the truth and start healing, especially those who are suffering because of child sexual violence, officials' betrayals and awful gag orders.
Finally, we hope Delbarton officials withdraw their mean-spirited lawsuit against Wolfe's attorney Greg Gianforcaro.
(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 18,000 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.