PA--Victims blast new comments by Penn State prez
For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 28
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)
It’s very sad to see Penn State’s president posture for his donor base by dismissing most of the Freeh report. And it’s’ an ultimately counterproductive move.
Nothing is gained, except perhaps mollifying some misguided alums, by Eric Barron’s comments to the Associated Press. Barron joins a long line of self-centered football-obsessed Penn State students and staff who somehow can’t let go of their unhealthy Paterno-worship and remember the shattered lives of Sandusky victims.
The AP reports that Barron’s office says he’s committed to “procedural changes and funding child abuse prevention efforts.” But instead of vague promises like this, we challenge Barron to give a detailed accounting of what he’s done about each of the more than 100 recommendations in the Freeh report.
Barron claims "the alumni base” is “split apart." If he’s concerned about that, he should show real leadership and prod alums – and staff and students – to stop whining and start focusing on productive work to safeguard kids and build a more healthy school.
We urge football fanatics at Penn State to stop their unseemly ‘pity party’ and finger-pointing and hair-splitting and blame-shifting.
Kids were sexually assaulted by a Penn State staffers. Top officials knew or should have known. And they did little or nothing to stop the assaults. The school was punished. It’s time for university officials to man up and move on.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have 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.