PA - Giving a voice to childhood sex abuse victims
On the heels of the conviction of a high-ranking Catholic church official, veteran attorneys and a victims' advocate encourage childhood sexual abuse victims to speak up.
Be silent no more.
Childhood sexual abuse victims should come forward and tell their stories, Philadelphia’s district attorney, Seth Williams, said on Tuesday. Williams was fresh off the conviction and sentencing of Monsignor William Lynn, the first high-ranking Roman Catholic Church official to be ordered to prison for protecting predator priests.
Williams promised that if the crimes against children were committed within the statute of limitations, they will be prosecuted. Williams made the plea for more reporting in a news conference held outside the Criminal Justice Center where Lynn, 61, had just been sentenced to three to six years in prison for shielding a priest who had molested a child.
Veteran attorneys and a victims’ advocate offered an even more aggressive view in interviews later in the week. They said victims shouldn’t worry about the statute of limitations, or even about gathering evidence against their abusers.
“When you’re in pain and have lived in pain for years and you’re ready to disclose [how you were abused], almost any action beats no action at all,” said David Clohessy, execut..
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.