89% of Rhode Islanders Support Independent Investigation into Clergy Sex Abuse
According to a recent poll, 89% of Rhode Islanders believe that their attorney general should open an investigation into clergy sex abuse. SNAP believes that whichever candidate for the RI attorney general race wins, they should listen to their constituents and open an investigation following their election.
At this time, 16 attorneys general – from 15 states and Washington D.C. – have opened investigations into dioceses under their purview and have launched hotlines and websites to help survivors share their experiences and aid in the investigations. Regardless of who wins the upcoming election, we believe that the incoming attorney general should move swiftly to add Rhode Island to that list.
According to Bishop-Accountability.org, there are at least 38 priests who worked in Rhode Island who have been accused of abuse. We fear there may be more. We hope that both candidates will seriously consider the importance of this investigation, especially as they enter the final weeks of their campaign.
Independent investigations by law enforcement are the only way to get to the truth of this matter and it is clear that citizens in Rhode Island are interested in the truth. Whoever the new attorney general is, we believe they should immediately respond to the concerns shared by an overwhelming proportion of their constituents. It is the right thing to do.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. 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.