Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach
SNAP Western Director (949) 322-7434
I'm proud and grateful to share a small part of this important day with
these courageous men and women - survivors who have been hurting so
needlessly for so many years. They took a chance; they came together;
exercised their rights; they sought justice; and they are standing a little
taller and straighter today as a result. Why? Because of the California
child protection law that allowed these survivors to bravely seek
accountability and the truth from the men and institutions that hurt them.
Now, deeply-held church secrets about sex crimes and cover-ups will be
public knowledge. Parents and the public will know the truth about the
predators who threatened innocent children. Five sick, compulsive molesters
will no longer be allowed to act as priests and will never again be able
hide behind the protective walls of the church. This entire community
safer and healthier because of them.
I want to say something about the female victims: It's hard for any abuse
victim to break his or her silence. It may be even harder if the predator
a religious authority figure. But women in our society are particularly
trained to deal with trauma quietly and internally. We are not often taught
to be assertive and outspoken. Instead, many of us were told, and then
believed, that the abuse was all our fault.
So, I hope that the example of these women who were exploited and violated
- but who fought back and are re-gaining their strength - will encourage
inspire other women to step up and expose their molesters. No one need
suffer in silence and shame any longer.
For more information:
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director (314) 566-9790 cell
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP Founder and President (312) 399 4747 cell
of those Abused by Priests www.snapnetwork.org