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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex abuse victims to pass out leaflets to parishioners as they leave Mass

It urges those “trapped in silence” to speak up

And it urges Dutch authorities to probe Catholic dioceses

Group is also critical of Rotterdam bishop for “reckless secrecy”

SNAP begs victims to get “unbiased help” first, before calling church

Self help organization has serious doubts about “quiet internal processes”

What:
Holding childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, three clergy sex abuse victims will
--will pass out leaflets after the 11:00 Mass, begging victims and witnesses to come forward
--criticize a Dutch bishop who admitted he kept quiet about clergy sex reports, and
--urge Dutch secular authorities to launch independent investigations into clergy sex crimes and cover ups by Catholic authorities (like the Irish government has done in that country).

They will also
-- express their concern for vulnerable children and wounded adults in the Netherlands, and
-- beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to speak up, call police, get help, expose predators, protect others and start healing.

When:
Sunday, March 28 at 11:45 am

Where:
Outside the Cathedral of St. Lawrence and St. Elisabeth, Mathenesseriaan 305, Rotterdam

Who:
Three-four clergy sex abuse victims (from the Netherlands & the US) including two America women who lead the world’s largest & most highly visible support group for clergy sex abuse victims, called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

Why:
In response to the clergy sex abuse scandal engulfing Europe and for pleas for help from German victims, SNAP launched a permanent self help group in The Netherlands. Today they will pass out leaflets urging anyone who was hurt by a member of the clergy to come forward. SNAP has been holding public outreach and media events in several European nations over the past few days. In SNAP, victims find information, support and healing. While being abused victims felt alone and insignificant but by joining with other victims, they claim their power and take control of their lives. Victims share coping mechanisms and support one another.

The group believes it’s crucial that secular authorities in The Netherlands promptly begin thorough investigations into the church’s on-going scandal, so that the truth can be revealed, the wrong-doers disciplined, the victims healed and the vulnerable protected.

SNAP is also critical of Rotterdam bishop Ad van Luyn for keeping silent for years about clergy sex reports and will urge him and his colleagues to be more forthcoming now so that kids will be safer.

Over the past 22 years, SNAP has also learned that victims heal best when they break their silence, name their abuser, and get help from independent sources like therapists and self-help groups. Children are best safeguarded, SNAP feels, when victims, witnesses and whistleblowers find the courage to speak up and call law enforcement.

Formed in 1988 and based Chicago, SNAP has 9,000+ members in the US and around the world. It’s a confidential non-profit and its mission is to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded. SNAP has no affiliation with any church organization and helps victims hurt in any denomination. Blaine, a social worker, is SNAP’s founder and president. Dorris is the group’s outreach director.

http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2010/03/rotterdam_bishop_knew_about_ab.php

CONTACT +49-172-1676 931
Barbara Blaine, SNAPblaine@gmail.com +1 312 399 4747
Barbara Dorris, SNAPdorris@gmail.com, +1 314 503 0003
Bert Smeets 06 25 26 20 36
David Clohessy, SNAPclohesy@aol.com, +1 314 566 9790 (in the US now)


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org