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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New effort to compensate child porn victims; Sex abuse group responds

Statement by Bob Schwiderski of Wayzata, Minnesota Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (612 840 9270)

This isn’t about personalities or public officials. It’s about stopping future child sex crimes and helping those hurt by past and current child sex crimes.

As therapists have repeatedly said and researchers have repeatedly proven, child sex crimes are about far more than the actual physical contact (and need not even involve any actual touch). Usually the real harm is not from the act itself, but rather from the violation, the betrayal, the boundary crossing. In other words, when a trusted adult sexualizes a relationship with a child, that’s when the hurt happens.

So for some children, being photographed in sexual ways is every bit as devastating to their self image and confidence and trust as being touched in sexual ways. That’s when their world is shattered – the minute someone they know and like uses them as a sexual object – whether with a camera, a hand or a mouth.

These victims, then, need and deserve compensation from their perpetrators, as much as kids who are fondled, raped or sodomized.

This is especially true because child porn lasts forever. A child who was subjected to this crime years ago worries for decades that the photos will resurface somewhere and that someone will recognize them from a horrific, disgusting picture taken long ago.

There’s a second reason those who make, distribute, buy or use child porn must pay. It deters such crimes in the future.

One reason we fine many criminals is to reduce the chances they’ll break the law again. But these criminals – child pornographers – largely escape any such fines. And thus, they keep violating kids with impunity. This must change.

By and large, car-jacking and purse-snatching and shop-lifting are tough crimes to commit and get away with. By and large, child porn, sadly, isn’t. That’s why we must try new approaches and tougher penalties - civil and criminal – if we really want to put a dent in these insidious and devastating child sex crimes.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 21 years and have more than 9,000 members across the country. 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 David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Peter Isely (414-429-7259), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell)


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