SNAP Tops 4,500 Members In 44 Active Chapters
For immediate release:
Thursday Feb. 6, 2003
For more information:
David Clohessy of St. Louis, National Director (314) 566-9790 cell
Mark Serrano of Leesburg VA, Board Member (703) 771-9606, 703 727 4940 cell
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, President (312) 399-4747 cell
SNAP Tops 4,500 Members In 44 Active Chapters
The nation's largest support group for clergy molestation victims grew "like wild fire" last year and now has 44 active monthly support groups meeting across the country.
The Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) started 2002 with less than 3,000 members and 9 active local chapters. The organization now has more than 4,500 members in virtually every state, and monthly support group meetings in 44 cities.
Last year, new SNAP support groups formed in 35 cities, including Seattle, Denver, Tampa, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Sacramento, San Diego, Houston, and Portland, OR.
Chapters currently being organized include Orlando, Detroit, Las Vegas, Cleveland, Buffalo, Dallas and Sitka, Alaska.
SNAP began 2002 with groups that met sporadically became re-invigorated and started to meet more regularly. They include Chicago, St. Louis, Boston, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and New York City.
"Our self-help groups provide a safe, confidential and independent place for hurting men and women to recover from this traumatic childhood pain," said Terrie Light, a San Francisco social worker and one of SNAP's founding members. "Through our support groups, individual survivors learn they are no longer alone. They learn coping and recovery strategies and become empowered to break their silence, report their abuse to the proper authorities, and protect others at risk."
Roughly 98% of its members are survivors, 2% are family members. More than 90% were victimized by Catholic clergy (brothers, bishops, nuns, priests, and seminarians), the rest by Protestant clergy.
The overwhelming majority of victims who contact SNAP hear about the group first through the news media. Others learn about SNAP through the web site www.survivorsnetwork.org or their therapist.
Survivors needing to someone fluent in Spanish can call Rita Milla, 310 834 7033, email@example.com, Carlos Perez-Carillo, 818-269-1221, firstname.lastname@example.org
or Sonia Rubino at email@example.com.
New SNAP support groups formed in 2002 include:
Arizona (Phoenix) - Paul Pfaffenberger, 480-600-7811, firstname.lastname@example.org
California (Glendale) - Steven Sanchez, 818-262-6540, email@example.com
California (Long Beach) - Mary Ferrell, , 626-835-9066, snapMaryF@aol.com
California (Sacramento) - Mike Beam, 916-709-1148, firstname.lastname@example.org
California (San Diego) - Mark Brooks, 800-233-3182 ext. 117, email@example.com
California (Ventura County) - Manny Vega, 805-207-9027, firstname.lastname@example.org
California (San Jose) - Ray Peltier, 408-205-8876, email@example.com
California (Santa Rosa) - Don Hoard, 707-763-9366, firstname.lastname@example.org
Colorado (Denver) - Connie Ross, 303-988-4500, email@example.com
Colorado (Boulder)- Marnie Williams, 303-550-9062, firstname.lastname@example.org
Delaware - Gabi Lindtner, 302-377-6985, 302-832-2994, Joan Dougherty, email@example.com
District of Columbia - Bridget Lyons, 301-879-7317, firstname.lastname@example.org
Florida (Tampa-St. Pete) - Melissa Price, 727-844-9960, email@example.com
Florida (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale) - Judy Rakestraw, 305-926-5858, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kansas (Wichita) - Janet Patterson, 620 456 2330, email@example.com
Louisiana (New Orleans) - Lyn Hayward, 985-630-6638, firstname.lastname@example.org
Maryland (Baltimore) - Martin Menton, 410-707-1954, email@example.com
Massachusetts (Norwood) - John Harris, 781-551-8048, firstname.lastname@example.org, Robert Costello, 617-306-4785, email@example.com
Massachusetts (Natick) - Ann Hagan Webb, 781-239-1182, firstname.lastname@example.org
Massachusetts (Worcester) - Bryan Smith, 978-928-4721, email@example.com
Massachusetts (Fitchburg) - Bryan Smith, 978-928-4721, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michigan (Grand Rapids and Detroit) - Steven Kelly, 616-868-0324, email@example.com
Minnesota (Minneapolis/St. Paul) - Mike Wegs 612-823-4576, firstname.lastname@example.org and Belinda Martinez, 651-773-0607, IDGAS999@hotmail.com
New York (Utica) - Joyce Nebush, 315-896-2481, email@example.com
New York (Syracuse) - Joyce Nebush, 315-896-2481, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Jersey (Mendham) - Pat Serrano, 973-543-4249, email@example.com
New Jersey (Cherry Hill) - Barbara Polesir, 856-424-4827, Barbara.firstname.lastname@example.org
North Carolina (Raleigh) - Marigrace Labella, 919-418-2869, email@example.com
Ohio (Toledo) - Claudia Vercellotti, 419-382-7373, firstname.lastname@example.org
Oregon (Portland) - Bill Crane, 503-698-4584, email@example.com
Pennsylvania (Allentown) - Juliann Bortz, 610-432-2895, firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas (Houston) - Miguel Prats, 713-554-5732, email@example.com,
Washington (Seattle) - Tom Keenan, 425-776-0602, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington (Spokane) - Molly Harding, 509-991-8834, 509-466-1877, email@example.com
Wisconsin (Racine) - Jon Gillespie, 847-710-9989, firstname.lastname@example.org
More well-established SNAP groups have added new spokespeople who include:
California (San Francisco) - Paul Hessinger, 510-727-1872, email@example.com
California (Orange County and Los Angeles) - Lee Bashforth, 949-735-8347, firstname.lastname@example.org
Illinois (Chicago) - Don Robinson, 847-356-7703, email@example.com
Massachusetts (Boston) - Ann Hagan Webb 781-239-1182, firstname.lastname@example.org
Missouri (Kansas City) - Mike Hunter, 913-648-3365, email@example.com
Missouri (St. Louis) - Steve Pona, 314-369-8687, firstname.lastname@example.org
New York (NYC) - David Cerulli, 917-757-1791, email@example.com
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) - John Salveson, 610-525-2678, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wisconsin (Milwaukee) - Mark Salmon, 414-774-4350, email@example.com
Chapters being organized currently include:
Alaska (Sitka) - James Weis, 907-747-4862, firstname.lastname@example.org
Florida (St. Augustine) - Jeannie Moore, 904-461-9058, email@example.com
Florida (Orlando) - Richard Heinkel, 407-228-4038, firstname.lastname@example.org
Massachusetts (Springfield) - Mark Furnish, 518-366-5842, email@example.com
Michigan (Detroit) - Claudia Vercellotti, 419-382-7373, firstname.lastname@example.org and Steven Kelly, 616-868-0324, email@example.com
Mississippi (Hattiesburg) - Mark Belenchia, 601-818-3003, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nevada (Las Vegas) - Debbie Tullgren, 702-568-6337, email@example.com
New Jersey (Pennsauken) - Victoria Cubberley, firstname.lastname@example.org
New York (Albany, Buffalo, Rochester) - Joyce Nebush, 315-896-2481, email@example.com
Ohio (Cleveland) - Bennie Pacheco, 440-935-7029, firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas (Dallas) - Kris Galland, 817-329-0599, email@example.com
Wisconsin (Green Bay) - Larry Pierquet, 920-897-4918, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wisconsin (Madison) - Patti Merchant, 414-224-0880, email@example.com
In other states, SNAP has named coordinators or spokespersons. In most of these, no local SNAP groups currently meet, but may be organized in the future. They include:
Arizona (Tucson) - Anne Keshishian, 520-229-9315, firstname.lastname@example.org
California (San Bernardino) - Jim Falls, 949-291-5795, email@example.com
Idaho (Idaho Falls) - Tim McKenna, 208-524-4087, firstname.lastname@example.org
Indiana (South Bend) - Lois Myers, 574-289-8579, email@example.com
Iowa (Des Moines) - John Chambers, 515-993-6820, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kentucky (Louisville) - Gerald Payne, 888-888-8876, email@example.com
Maine (Portland) - Cyndi DesRosiers, 207-622-4075, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michigan (Flint) - Colleen Ptak, 810-733-3579, email@example.com
Mississippi (Canton) - Susan Cannon, 601-856-5044, firstname.lastname@example.org
Missouri (Springfield-Branson) - Phil Pisciotta, 417-546-5861, SNAPMO@yahoo.com
New Jersey (Camden) - Peter Pfister, 863-666-2159, email@example.com
New York (Albany) - Mark Furnish, 518-366-5842, firstname.lastname@example.org
North Carolina - Neil Evans, 828-299-3972, email@example.com
Ohio (Cincinnati) - Dr. Michael Hancock, 513-309-8038, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rhode Island (Providence) - Phyllis Hutnak, 401-368-1680, email@example.com
Virginia (Norfolk) - Annette Dickerson, 757-963-8937, firstname.lastname@example.org
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.