OH- Ohio civil offender registry isn't working; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Wednesday, March 19, 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)
A “civil registry” of child molesters set up eight years ago by Ohio lawmakers has never been used, the Columbus Dispatch reports today.
The "civil registry" isn't working because it's an obscure, untested, and likely unconstitutional process that would require suffering child sex abuse victims to pay thousands of dollars to a lawyer, with no chance to even recover their costs, little chance of exposing their predator and no chance to expose the colleagues and supervisors who concealed their predator's crimes.
It was a desperate move designed to give lawmakers 'political cover' and enable them to pretend they were doing something to stop child molesters.
On the contrary, the “civil window” that we've long advocated has since been adopted – and successfully used - in Delaware, Hawaii and Minnesota to protect kids by exposing those who commit and conceal heinous sex crimes against kids and deterring such wrongdoing in the future.
Now that it's clear Ohio's half-baked “civil registry” hasn't helped expose a single predator, we hope lawmakers will reconsider reforming the state's archaic, predator-friendly child sex laws and make it less difficult for those who were raped and sodomized as kids to take legal action against their perpetrators.
(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.