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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Sex abuse victims and supporters start new self-help group

They also urge church officials to reach out, spread word

VA bill allows victims more time to expose perpetrators, seek accountability

Group begs anyone who “saw, suspected or suffered” crimes to get help

WHAT: Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, victims of clergy sex abuse and their supporters will:

· Announce a new confidential, independent self-help group in Richmond, VA,

· Ask Diocese of Richmond officials to spread the word to victims who may be suffering in shame and silence,

· Beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to speak up, call police, and get help.

· Thank brave Virginia legislators who supported SB1145, a bill that empowers victims and keeps children safe.

WHEN: Thursday, March 24th at 1pm

WHERE: Outside Diocese of Richmond headquarters, 7800 Carousel Lane, Richmond, VA

WHO: Three - four individuals who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a woman who is the SNAP Director for Virginia.

WHY: Tonight, the largest and oldest international self-help group for men and women sexually abused in religious organizations will hold its first confidential support group meeting in Richmond.

Members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, hope to reach out to victims who are still suffering in shame and silence and help them seek healing. This confidential support group - for clergy sex abuse victims and their families - will be held at March 24 at 7 p.m. The location will not be publicly disclosed to protect the privacy of participants. Those interested in attending may call SNAP VA Director Becky Ianni at 703-801-6044 or SNAPVirginia@cox.net for the location.

The group is asking Diocese of Richmond officials to use their vast (and free) resources, including their website(s), church bulletins, diocese publications and the pulpit to announce the meetings and encourage anyone who may be been abused to attend and seek healing.

SNAP is also extending a heartfelt thanks to the brave Virginia legislators who passed a new bill that gives child sex abuse victims more time to come forward to expose their perpetrator and seek accountability. SB 1145 extends the civil statute of limitations until 20 years past a victim’s 18th birthday. SNAP is also thanking the Governor and Attorney General for their consideration of this important, child-friendly, anti-crime law.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 23 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

CONTACT: Becky Ianni 703-801-6044, SNAPVirginia@cox.net, David Clohessy 314-566-9790 SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Barb Dorris , 314-862-7688, SNAPDorris@gmail.com


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