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Press Releases



Press Release


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Releases
Giving Voice to Victims

For immediate release:
Thursday Feb. 6, 2003

For more information:
David Clohessy of St. Louis, National Director (314) 566-9790 cell
Mark Serrano of Leesburg VA, Board Member (703) 771-9606, 703 727 4940 cell
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, President (312) 399-4747 cell

Sex Abuse Victims Start 35 New Support Groups

SNAP Tops 4,500 Members In 44 Active Chapters

The nation's largest support group for clergy molestation victims grew "like wild fire" last year and now has 44 active monthly support groups meeting across the country.

The Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) started 2002 with less than 3,000 members and 9 active local chapters. The organization now has more than 4,500 members in virtually every state, and monthly support group meetings in 44 cities.

Last year, new SNAP support groups formed in 35 cities, including Seattle, Denver, Tampa, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Sacramento, San Diego, Houston, and Portland, OR.

Chapters currently being organized include Orlando, Detroit, Las Vegas, Cleveland, Buffalo, Dallas and Sitka, Alaska.

SNAP began 2002 with groups that met sporadically became re-invigorated and started to meet more regularly. They include Chicago, St. Louis, Boston, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and New York City.

"Our self-help groups provide a safe, confidential and independent place for hurting men and women to recover from this traumatic childhood pain," said Terrie Light, a San Francisco social worker and one of SNAP's founding members. "Through our support groups, individual survivors learn they are no longer alone. They learn coping and recovery strategies and become empowered to break their silence, report their abuse to the proper authorities, and protect others at risk."

Roughly 98% of its members are survivors, 2% are family members. More than 90% were victimized by Catholic clergy (brothers, bishops, nuns, priests, and seminarians), the rest by Protestant clergy.

The overwhelming majority of victims who contact SNAP hear about the group first through the news media. Others learn about SNAP through the web site www.survivorsnetwork.org or their therapist.

Survivors needing to someone fluent in Spanish can call Rita Milla, 310 834 7033, drasil2000@hotmail.com, Carlos Perez-Carillo, 818-269-1221, muzicman818@juno.com
or Sonia Rubino at flowerhealer56@aol.com.

New SNAP support groups formed in 2002 include:
Arizona (Phoenix) - Paul Pfaffenberger, 480-600-7811, paulpfaff@aol.com
California (Glendale) - Steven Sanchez, 818-262-6540, glendalesnap@yahoo.com
California (Long Beach) - Mary Ferrell, , 626-835-9066, snapMaryF@aol.com
California (Sacramento) - Mike Beam, 916-709-1148, mykbeam@pacbell.net
California (San Diego) - Mark Brooks, 800-233-3182 ext. 117, snapsandiego@mail.com
California (Ventura County) - Manny Vega, 805-207-9027, mvega2@adelphia.net
California (San Jose) - Ray Peltier, 408-205-8876, raypeltier@att.net
California (Santa Rosa) - Don Hoard, 707-763-9366, hoards@cs.com
Colorado (Denver) - Connie Ross, 303-988-4500, snapdenver@yahoo.com
Colorado (Boulder)- Marnie Williams, 303-550-9062, snapboulder@yahoo.com
Delaware - Gabi Lindtner, 302-377-6985, 302-832-2994, Joan Dougherty, snapdel@acninc.net
District of Columbia - Bridget Lyons, 301-879-7317, bhmlyons@yahoo.com
Florida (Tampa-St. Pete) - Melissa Price, 727-844-9960, snapperstpete@yahoo.com
Florida (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale) - Judy Rakestraw, 305-926-5858, snapmiami@aol.com
Kansas (Wichita) - Janet Patterson, 620 456 2330, patterson@havilandtelco.com
Louisiana (New Orleans) - Lyn Hayward, 985-630-6638, lasnap@covad.net
Maryland (Baltimore) - Martin Menton, 410-707-1954, mdmenton@yahoo.com
Massachusetts (Norwood) - John Harris, 781-551-8048, hdragoon57@aol.com, Robert Costello, 617-306-4785, robertcostello@earthlink.net
Massachusetts (Natick) - Ann Hagan Webb, 781-239-1182, annhaganwebb@survivorsnetwork.org
Massachusetts (Worcester) - Bryan Smith, 978-928-4721, brysmi2@aol.com
Massachusetts (Fitchburg) - Bryan Smith, 978-928-4721, brysmi2@aol.com
Michigan (Grand Rapids and Detroit) - Steven Kelly, 616-868-0324, snapgrandrapids@msn.com
Minnesota (Minneapolis/St. Paul) - Mike Wegs 612-823-4576, mdflem@bitstream.net and Belinda Martinez, 651-773-0607, IDGAS999@hotmail.com
New York (Utica) - Joyce Nebush, 315-896-2481, nebushjm@borg.com
New York (Syracuse) - Joyce Nebush, 315-896-2481, nebushjm@borg.com
New Jersey (Mendham) - Pat Serrano, 973-543-4249, pat.serrano@verizon.net
New Jersey (Cherry Hill) - Barbara Polesir, 856-424-4827, Barbara.polesir@pncbank.com
North Carolina (Raleigh) - Marigrace Labella, 919-418-2869, snapral@yahoo.com
Ohio (Toledo) - Claudia Vercellotti, 419-382-7373, snaptoledo@mail.com
Oregon (Portland) - Bill Crane, 503-698-4584, snaporegon@aol.com
Pennsylvania (Allentown) - Juliann Bortz, 610-432-2895, juliannbortz@yahoo.com
Texas (Houston) - Miguel Prats, 713-554-5732, snaphoustontx@yahoo.com,
Washington (Seattle) - Tom Keenan, 425-776-0602, snap.seattle@attbi.com
Washington (Spokane) - Molly Harding, 509-991-8834, 509-466-1877, jmharding6@attbi.com
Wisconsin (Racine) - Jon Gillespie, 847-710-9989, jongillespie@sbcglobal.net

More well-established SNAP groups have added new spokespeople who include:
California (San Francisco) - Paul Hessinger, 510-727-1872, terrie@light-hall.com
California (Orange County and Los Angeles) - Lee Bashforth, 949-735-8347, bash4th@cox.net
Illinois (Chicago) - Don Robinson, 847-356-7703, drobinson636@hotmail.com
Massachusetts (Boston) - Ann Hagan Webb 781-239-1182, annhaganwebb@survivorsnetwork.org
Missouri (Kansas City) - Mike Hunter, 913-648-3365, mhunter_mp@accessus.net
Missouri (St. Louis) - Steve Pona, 314-369-8687, spona1@aol.com
New York (NYC) - David Cerulli, 917-757-1791, snapnyc@rcn.com
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) - John Salveson, 610-525-2678, snapphila@aol.com
Wisconsin (Milwaukee) - Mark Salmon, 414-774-4350, msalmon@yahoo.com

Chapters being organized currently include:
Alaska (Sitka) - James Weis, 907-747-4862, weisguys@ptialaska.net
Florida (St. Augustine) - Jeannie Moore, 904-461-9058, snapstaugustine@aol.com
Florida (Orlando) - Richard Heinkel, 407-228-4038, richardhheinkel@msn.com
Massachusetts (Springfield) - Mark Furnish, 518-366-5842, furnishesq@hotmail.com
Michigan (Detroit) - Claudia Vercellotti, 419-382-7373, snaptoledo@mail.com and Steven Kelly, 616-868-0324, snapgrandrapids@msn.com
Mississippi (Hattiesburg) - Mark Belenchia, 601-818-3003, snapmiss@yahoo.com
Nevada (Las Vegas) - Debbie Tullgren, 702-568-6337, hendmom4@yahoo.com
New Jersey (Pennsauken) - Victoria Cubberley, krayziejen@comcast.net
New York (Albany, Buffalo, Rochester) - Joyce Nebush, 315-896-2481, nebushjm@borg.com
Ohio (Cleveland) - Bennie Pacheco, 440-935-7029, kathyjp@eriecoast.com
Texas (Dallas) - Kris Galland, 817-329-0599, snapdfwtx@yahoo.com
Wisconsin (Green Bay) - Larry Pierquet, 920-897-4918, peterisely@yahoo.com
Wisconsin (Madison) - Patti Merchant, 414-224-0880, marchant@ameritech.net

In other states, SNAP has named coordinators or spokespersons. In most of these, no local SNAP groups currently meet, but may be organized in the future. They include:
Arizona (Tucson) - Anne Keshishian, 520-229-9315, annekesh@aol.com
California (San Bernardino) - Jim Falls, 949-291-5795, jimefalls@msn.com
Idaho (Idaho Falls) - Tim McKenna, 208-524-4087, tmck5@juno.com
Indiana (South Bend) - Lois Myers, 574-289-8579, lmyers000@ameritech.net
Iowa (Des Moines) - John Chambers, 515-993-6820, jsc2597@aol.com
Kentucky (Louisville) - Gerald Payne, 888-888-8876, alteredboys@aol.com
Maine (Portland) - Cyndi DesRosiers, 207-622-4075, cynglcinderella@juno.com
Michigan (Flint) - Colleen Ptak, 810-733-3579, colly029@aol.com
Mississippi (Canton) - Susan Cannon, 601-856-5044, suzn1016@hotmail.com
Missouri (Springfield-Branson) - Phil Pisciotta, 417-546-5861, SNAPMO@yahoo.com
New Jersey (Camden) - Peter Pfister, 863-666-2159, plumbcrazy777777@aol.com
New York (Albany) - Mark Furnish, 518-366-5842, furnishesq@hotmail.com
North Carolina - Neil Evans, 828-299-3972, nealevansfinance@aol.com
Ohio (Cincinnati) - Dr. Michael Hancock, 513-309-8038, mhancockdc@hotmail.com
Rhode Island (Providence) - Phyllis Hutnak, 401-368-1680, sctruememory@yahoo.com
Virginia (Norfolk) - Annette Dickerson, 757-963-8937, apdickerson@transystems.com


Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests

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