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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex abuse victims to leaflet outside mass

They urge Catholic parishioners to back child safety bill

Top Catholic officials are "deceiving their flock," SNAP says

Self help group wants church hierarchy to stop “scare tactics”

WHAT
As Catholics leave mass, clergy sex abuse victims will hand out fliers urging them to
-- ignore their church officials’ pleas and and “scare tactics,” and
--support pending state legislation that would enable more child sex abuse victims to expose predators and protect kids through the time-tested justice system.

The leaflets will also encourage parishioners to
--ask lawmakers to “protect innocent kids, not corrupt officials,’ and
-- ask friends and family to ask fellow Catholics if they were ever abused by priests, nuns, bishops, brothers and seminarians.

WHEN
Wednesday, April 21 at 12:20 pm

WHERE
In front of the Cathedral of St. Joseph, 140 Farmington Avenue in Hartford CT

WHO
Seven-ten sex abuse victims (including some who were abused by a notorious child-molesting Connecticut doctor), most of whom belong to a support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) including a Missouri woman who is the organization’s long time outreach director

WHY
Victims are pushing for House Bill 5473 which would enable child sex abuse victims to expose predators and protect kids in civil courts. For some victims, it would extend the deadline by which they can take action and warn others about the predators who assaulted them, but only if certain evidence exists, both of the crime itself and of past wrongdoing by some of the defendants.

SNAP maintains that because of limited law enforcement resources, fewer than 20% of all child molesters are ever arrested, prosecuted and jailed. So ‘next best option’ to protect kids is to at least publicly expose child sex offenders through civil courts, so that neighbors, parents and prospective employers will know of their crimes and whereabouts. That’s one of the key benefits to the proposed legislation, the group feels.

It will also help deter future recklessness, deceit and callousness by institutions, SNAP believes, and will prod some employers to work harder to screen out sex offenders and respond quickly when child sex crimes happen.

It is sponsored by Rep. Beth Bye (D-19) and has been voted out of the Judiciary Committee.

Large insurance companies and Hartford Archbishop Henry Mansell opposes the reform measure, arguing that victims already have enough time to step forward.

Some of the victims at the event were molested as kids by Dr. Goerge Reardon who allegedly molested hundreds of children at a hospital.

CONTACT
David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 home), Jim Hackett (203 710 0968),
Gail Howard (203 857 7281), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747)


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