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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Friday, April 30, 2010
CT lawmakers won't reform predator-friendly child sex law; SNAP responds
Statement by Barbara Blaine, President of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747)
Reforming the statute of limitations protects kids by helping to publicly expose dangerous child molesters and deter reckless employers. Compensating those already wounded is only one benefit to this legislation.
Even if every single person who was sexually assaulted by Riordan in childhood gets some kind of settlement, that doesn't absolve lawmakers of the duty to protect children by giving victims the chance to warn families about predators through the justice system.
We commend the courageous and compassionate abuse victims who have worked so long to safeguard the vulnerable and heal the wounded through this legislative effort and hope they will have the strength and persistence to push even harder next session.
(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 22 years and have more than 9,000 members across the globe. 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)
Contacts: David Clohessy (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940), Peter Isely (414-429-7259), Barbara Dorris (314 503 0003)
Legislature won't vote on sex abuse statute of limitations in 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010 - By Ed Stannard, firstname.lastname@example.org
HARTFORD — The General Assembly will not take a vote this session on the bill to abolish the statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims, legislators announced at a press conference today.
But state Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, said chances are better that the bill would pass next year and that there have been talks about helping a large group of victims, those who were abused by the late Dr. George Riordan at St. Francis Hospital.
“I think it’s fair to say … a lot of progress has been made in the last three weeks on finding a way to provide some compensation and support for victims who have already turned 48,” Lawlor said.
Current law allows lawsuits to be filed for 30 years after a victim turns 18. The bill, which has been opposed by the Connecticut Catholic Conference because many victims were abused by priests, would have removed the statute of limitations entirely.
Lawlor said he’s talked to “everybody involved, directly and indirectly” and believes the interim proposals, which he would not go into in detail, will satisfy all the parties.
Lawlor, co-chairman of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, said it was unrealistic to try to pass a bill this session, which ends Wednesday, in the midst of a budget crisis.
“It seemed like there’s probably enough votes in the House of Representatives to pass this,” he said, but it is unclear how the Senate would vote and whether Gov. M. Jodi Rell would sign it.
“It seems like public opinion, including the opinion of a lot of legislators, is shifting toward doing something about this,” he said, and next year, when a new governor will be in office, may be the time for the assembly to repeal the statute of limitations.
Beth McCabe of Canton, co-leader of the Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests, said she would be pleased if Riordan’s victims were compensated, but that the legislature needs to act.
“I would be totally upset if they didn’t pursue this in the next session with the goal of abolishing the statute of limitations, period, with no amendments.”
She said Florida has just passed such a bill, joining Maine, Delaware and Alaska. “It’s about time Connecticut stepped up,” McCabe said.
Call Ed Stannard at 203-789-5743
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests