The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
In bizarre case, group begs witnesses & victims to come forward
Organization praises “six brave victims” & Missouri law enforcement
“Aggressiveness” in pursuing Lafayette County sex crimes is applauded
SNAP begs anyone who “saw, suspected or suffered” sexual abuse to “speak up”
Clergy sex abuse support group also wants Independence church to “reach out” to others
Though the men apparently molested relatives, it’s possible or even likely, SNAP feels, that they might have also molested children of fellow church members. So it’s the duty of church officials to do all they can to help find other victims and witnesses so the police can investigate quickly and thoroughly.
(The accused are allegedly “lay priests” in the Independence-based Community of Christ, which split from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1860 and was known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints until 2001. According to news accounts, even while church officials were denying the men had "leadership roles," the officials also claimed the men's priesthood licenses were suspended.)
SNAP believes some people with information about the alleged crimes – whether victims or witnesses – may be uncomfortable calling law enforcement. The group will urge anyone with suspicions or knowledge of these men’s crimes to call SOMEONE – a therapist, friend, support group, anyone – so that they can get help and so that the wrongdoers can be prosecuted.
"We hope church officials will learn from the mistakes of the Catholic Church. rather than splitting hairs over the accused men’s titles and duties, we hope church authorities will work with church members and the public to do outreach to anyone who may have been hurt by these men or who saw or suspected their crimes and encourage them to contact law enforcement," said Barbara Dorris of SNAP.
"Because they’re powerless, kids often bury their feelings and pain to survive when the abusive situations becomes overwhelming. In this situation they literally buried their pain in notes they buried in jars on the property" said David Clohessy, National Director of SNAP. “These victims need the help of everyone in the community and the church to put these dangerous men behind bars where kids will be safe."
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. It’s been around since 1988 and has more than 9,000 members across the country. Despite the word “priest” in its title, SNAP has members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers.)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests