NJ- Victim being silenced by church and school officials
For immediate release: Monday, June 2, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
New Jersey Catholic officials and Delbarton school officials are trying to protect their reputations by silencing a credible child sex abuse victim.
Shame on them.
To insist on secrecy at this point is re-victimizing this already wounded victim. And it's designed to deter other victims of child molesting clerics from speaking up.
Catholic and Delbarton officials want to pay child sex crime victims to shut up and go away, refusing to admit that church-imposed secrecy is incredibly hurtful to those victims.
Dozens and dozens of clergy sex abuse victims have signed these callous gag orders only to realize later they were further betrayed and manipulated. We know of no case in which one of them was penalized for speaking out.
These gag orders endanger kids, hurt victims and protect wrongdoers. Catholic officials should stop insisting on them and should, for the safety of kids, release all victims who have signed them.
(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.