The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Media Advisory for Washington DC
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Clergy sex abuse victims outline Congressional page reform plan
They ask everyone on Capitol Hill to sign pledge to call the police
Group seeks mandatory, nationally-televised session for all in Congress
SNAP also calls for more independent oversight & training for program
It repeats its plea to Foley to name his abuser and for Shimkus to step down
Dangerously restrictive statutes of limitations must be reformed, they say
At a news conference, victims of clergy sexual abuse and leaders of an experienced, nationwide support group will
-- ask every member of Congress to sign a pledge promising to call the police if they suspect harmful and potentially illegal sexual misconduct by lawmakers (instead of reporting to an internal Congressional committee),
-- outline a series of steps they feel could protect future pages and educate millions of citizens about the "grooming" and sexual abuse/harassment of vulnerable teens, and
-- push for eliminating the civil and criminal statues of limitations across the country, so that victims can better expose and jail their perpetrators.
Thursday, Oct. 12, 1:15 p.m.
Capitol Hill Suites Hotel , 200 C Street SE , Washington , DC (202-543-6000)
Several victims of clergy sexual abuse and harassment who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (including the organization's founder and president, who is a social worker and an attorney)
Based on its 17 year history of helping thousands of molestation victims and prodding church hierarchies to reform, SNAP advocates several significant steps to protect teenage pages (and other youngsters at risk), including: a) a mandatory, one-hour, nationally-televised training session on grooming/sexual abuse/harassment for all Capitol Hill lawmakers & staff, b) a written promise by all US representatives to call police when they suspect sexual misconduct, and c) and a five person page program oversight panel with a majority of members being law enforcement and mental health professionals (providing more independence and professionalism) and only one congressperson from each party (eliminating partisanship).
The group will also repeat its public plea for Mark Foley to disclose the identity of his alleged abuser to police and for Congressman John Shimkus to step down from the page committee (because he failed to call law enforcement about allegations against Foley).
The group will hold childhood photos and a large, "blow up" of the pledge they'll ask every member of Congress to sign.
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP President and Founder 312 299 4747
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director (314) 566 9790 cell
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director (314) 862 7688, (314) 503 0003 cell
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests