SNAP has worked for years to educate the public that sexual abuse happens in #ChurchToo
For immediate release Thursday, December 7, 2017
Recently Hannah Paasch wrote a heartfelt piece for the Huffington Post, sharing her truth that sexual abuse happens in #ChurchToo, and that the “purity culture” teaches women that when it does, it is their fault.
SNAP, the Survivors Network, agrees wholeheartedly with Ms. Paasch. We have been working to educate the public and hold religious leaders accountable since 1988. We have decades of experience in providing a safe place for victims to meet and share their experiences. But, there is still much work to be done.
The hashtag #MeToo hit a nerve across the country and the world. Powerful men are being removed from their positions in the wake of allegations of sexual assault and harassment. But in many religious organizations, women continue to be valued and accepted only when they are quiet and compliant, accepting all blame and responsibility for the sexual actions of the men in their communities.
The “purity culture” purports to protect women. However, when the everyday, innocent actions of a woman --where she went, what she was wearing, whether she was drinking – become more important to the community than the criminal actions of the man, that religious group becomes a prime breeding ground for sexual abuse and misconduct. The blame for an act of sexual violence should rest on the perpetrator, not on those who are attacked.
We encourage those who have been writing about their experience under the hashtag #ChurchToo to continue to speak out, file lawsuits, and report criminal behavior to the police. We also hope that they will reach out to groups like ours for support and help.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 members. 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.