PA--Victims to hold support group in Altoona
For immediate release: Friday, March 4, 2016
Support group to be held to clergy abuse victims
A self-help group for men and women who were abused by clergy will hold a confidential support meeting in the Altoona area next week.
The organization is SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. The meeting will be Tuesday, Tuesday, March 8th from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Antis Public Library, 526 Main Street in Bellwood (just north of Altoona, PA).
“Victims, family members, and supporters are welcome and encouraged to attend,” said Fran Sambler, SNAP’s Pittsburgh leader. “The grand jury report has understandably stirred up lots of emotion throughout the state. We are creating a safe, private, confidential setting to help anyone who has been abused as a child or exploited as an adult.”
Sometimes, SNAP is perceived as an “activist” group, said Judy Jones of SNAP. “But the bulk of what we do is to just listen and offer consolation – quietly and privately - to people who are in pain.”
Despite the word "priest" in its name, SNAP welcomes and tries to help "anyone who has been hurt in institutional settings by predators, Jones said.
"Whether you or your loved ones were sexually victimized in summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, or wherever, it's beneficial to talk with and get solace and comfort from those who have suffered in similar settings," she said.
Based in Chicago, SNAP was founded in 1988 and now has nearly 30,000 members across the US and increasingly across the world. 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.