NY--Head of Dolan’s victim pay-off plan insults victims; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Monday, Oct. 17, 2016
Cardinal Tim Dolan’s unilateral, top-down victim pay-off program has barely begun. Yet the man Dolan picked to head it is already insulting and blaming victims. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/17/opinion/victims-of-priests-abuse-face-a-choice.html
Kenneth Feinberg told the New York Times that victims tend to be “procrastinators.” At best, that’s stupid. At worst, it’s hurtful. Both he and Dolan should apologize. And they should drop their insensitive, arbitrary and self-serving deadline which forces still-suffering victims to move quickly to deal with decades of pain or else be left out in the cold again.
If kids are to be safer, adults must make it easier, not harder, for victims to report sexual violence. Dolan’s selfish deadline and Feinberg’s callous comments are making it harder.
If victims are to be healed, adults must welcome their disclosures and respond to their suffering whenever victims are strong enough to step forward. Dolan and Feinberg must put the needs of deeply wounded victims ahead of their own convenience.
No matter what New York lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in New York – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(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.