PA--Victims group applauds charges vs. Cosby
For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2015
Finally, Bill Cosby faces criminal charges. This should have happened ages ago. But we’re grateful it’s happening now. And it should prod more victims and more prosecutors to take more action against more rapists.
We’ve long said that too often criminal charges against those who commit or conceal sexual violence are possible but not pursued. We’ve long challenged prosecutors to be more aggressive and creative about going after these offenders. We’ve long maintained that a lack of political will, sometimes as much as a lack of adequate laws, prevents more predators from being nailed.
So we applaud the recently-elected prosecutor Montgomery County PA District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, who reversed a decision by her predecessor and filed today’s charges.
We hope law enforcement officials in Los Angeles will soon filed more charges against Cosby, either on behalf of Chloe Goins or other victims. We applaud the courage of Ms. Goins and every one of the dozens of Cosby victims who have stepped forward.
Let’s be clear: Laws about sexual violence need reforming, especially the archaic, arbitrary and predator-friendly statutes of limitations. But until this happens, two clichés are applicable: “There are many ways to skin a cat” and “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” We urge law enforcement officials to dig deep, work hard, think creatively and act aggressively, using any and all legal theories and approaches to charge known and suspected sexual predators, even if they fear novel efforts may not ultimately succeed. It’s often better, in our view, to take more chances, expose more offenders, and protect more victims even if shrewd lawyers for serial rapists manage to exploit technicalities and evade actual punishment.
And we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered crimes or cover ups by Cosby or his backers, friends or family to summon the strength to call police and prosecutors.
(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)
SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (email@example.com, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-708-6175)
If you are looking to help spread the word about the importance of this summit and for survivors to be heard, add your voice to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PBC2019. Be sure to follow SNAP on twitter and Facebook and share our posts, add your comments, and let the world know that we are watching!Learn More