SNAP Stands in Support of Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Joseph White of the Church of the Living God

SNAP Stands in Support of Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Joseph White of the Church of the Living God

For immediate distribution Tuesday, February 7, 2018

Statement by Carol Zamonski, SNAP Central Ohio Leader,  SNAPCentralOhio@gmail.com, 614-653-1502

SNAP Stands in support of all the known and unknown survivors of sexual abuse by Joseph White, founder of the Church of the Living God. We are horrified at both the abuse which has occurred and the weak response by the Board of Directors of The Church of the Living God. White’s retirement is not enough. The Church of the Living God should make a statement condemning his actions and report the allegations to police in his current residential area and any area where he has lived or served in the Church of the Living God. In addition the Church of the Living God should publicize the problem widely in their many congregations and in the cities in which they are located.  Church leadership structure, guidelines and policies should be examined and reworked with the help of outside consultants to create a church movement and local church environment that is less likely to harbor sexual abusers in the future.  

We congratulate the survivors of sexual abuse by Joseph White who have come forward to hold White and the Church of the Living God accountable for his grievous crimes.  Their abuse and the pain and long term suffering they experience never should have occurred. We encourage any other survivors of abuse by Joseph White to come forward to strengthen the case against White.  

If you are a Church of the Living God member or employee and observed anything related to the sexual abuse White perpetrated against his congregation and possibly others, please report these to law enforcement immediately. If you are a church member or employee of the Church of the Living God and you want the Church of the Living God and it’s Board of Directors take stronger action to hold White accountable and minister to survivors of his abuse - you can take action. Speak with your fellow church members, demand action. It is not enough to remove White from his role in the Church, he should be held legally accountable for his actions and removed from interactions with other potential victims.

Because of his old age and long history of sexual abuse, we believe there could be a huge number of victims of Joseph White’s abuse.

SNAP, the Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests or Clergy, is a peer organization by and for survivors. We work with Survivors of sexual abuse to heal and become whole after sexual abuse within any institution (not limited to faith based organizations). SNAP holds monthly support groups in many cities across the United States and in many other countries. SNAP support groups meet in Ohio in Columbus, Mansfield and Toledo. There is healing in telling your story and/or hearing the stories of other survivors of sexual abuse in a confidential small group.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 members. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

CONTACT

Melanie Jula Sakoda (925-708-6175, melanie.sakoda@gmail.com), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com), Barbara Dorris of St. Louis (314-503-0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

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