Sioux City Diocese cover up demonstrates need for state-wide investigation
For immediate release, November 7, 2018
SNAP has begged Church officials for decades to seek out other victims of know abusers. After putting innocent children at risk for decades, it seems to us that the Sioux City Diocese is only now asking people to come forward because parishioners and the public are appalled at what was concealed for so long.
Make no mistake, victims and witnesses should come forward. However, they should not report to the very Church officials who hid an abuser for all those years, as the Sioux City Diocese suggested. Reports of sexual abuse need to be made to the police or to child protection agencies, not the Church.
We note that there is a December 6th meeting scheduled between the Sioux City Diocese and the Iowa Attorney General. We feel strongly that this must be followed by a state-wide investigation that has subpoena powers, and that also offers survivors an opportunity to share their truths. Nineteen other states have instituted such a probe.
We hope that in the light of the egregious cover up in Sioux City that every Iowan who has not already done so will write to their Attorney General and request just such a state-wide investigation.
Too many children have already suffered.
(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.