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, firstname.lastname@example.org, Carlos Perez-Carillo, 818-269-1221, email@example.com
or Sonia Rubino at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New SNAP support groups formed in 2002 include:
Arizona (Phoenix) - Paul Pfaffenberger, 480-600-7811, email@example.com
California (Glendale) - Steven Sanchez, 818-262-6540, firstname.lastname@example.org
California (Long Beach) - Mary Ferrell, , 626-835-9066, snapMaryF@aol.com
California (Sacramento) - Mike Beam, 916-709-1148, email@example.com
California (San Diego) - Mark Brooks, 800-233-3182 ext. 117, firstname.lastname@example.org
California (Ventura County) - Manny Vega, 805-207-9027, email@example.com
California (San Jose) - Ray Peltier, 408-205-8876, firstname.lastname@example.org
California (Santa Rosa) - Don Hoard, 707-763-9366, email@example.com
Colorado (Denver) - Connie Ross, 303-988-4500, firstname.lastname@example.org
Colorado (Boulder)- Marnie Williams, 303-550-9062, email@example.com
Delaware - Gabi Lindtner, 302-377-6985, 302-832-2994, Joan Dougherty, firstname.lastname@example.org
District of Columbia - Bridget Lyons, 301-879-7317, email@example.com
Florida (Tampa-St. Pete) - Melissa Price, 727-844-9960, firstname.lastname@example.org
Florida (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale) - Judy Rakestraw, 305-926-5858, email@example.com
Kansas (Wichita) - Janet Patterson, 620 456 2330, firstname.lastname@example.org
Louisiana (New Orleans) - Lyn Hayward, 985-630-6638, email@example.com
Maryland (Baltimore) - Martin Menton, 410-707-1954, firstname.lastname@example.org
Massachusetts (Norwood) - John Harris, 781-551-8048, email@example.com, Robert Costello, 617-306-4785, firstname.lastname@example.org
Massachusetts (Natick) - Ann Hagan Webb, 781-239-1182, email@example.com
Massachusetts (Worcester) - Bryan Smith, 978-928-4721, firstname.lastname@example.org
Massachusetts (Fitchburg) - Bryan Smith, 978-928-4721, email@example.com
Michigan (Grand Rapids and Detroit) - Steven Kelly, 616-868-0324, firstname.lastname@example.org
Minnesota (Minneapolis/St. Paul) - Mike Wegs 612-823-4576, email@example.com and Belinda Martinez, 651-773-0607, IDGAS999@hotmail.com
New York (Utica) - Joyce Nebush, 315-896-2481, firstname.lastname@example.org
New York (Syracuse) - Joyce Nebush, 315-896-2481, email@example.com
New Jersey (Mendham) - Pat Serrano, 973-543-4249, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Jersey (Cherry Hill) - Barbara Polesir, 856-424-4827, Barbara.email@example.com
North Carolina (Raleigh) - Marigrace Labella, 919-418-2869, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ohio (Toledo) - Claudia Vercellotti, 419-382-7373, email@example.com
Oregon (Portland) - Bill Crane, 503-698-4584, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pennsylvania (Allentown) - Juliann Bortz, 610-432-2895, email@example.com
Texas (Houston) - Miguel Prats, 713-554-5732, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Washington (Seattle) - Tom Keenan, 425-776-0602, email@example.com
Washington (Spokane) - Molly Harding, 509-991-8834, 509-466-1877, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wisconsin (Racine) - Jon Gillespie, 847-710-9989, email@example.com
More well-established SNAP groups have added new spokespeople who include:
California (San Francisco) - Paul Hessinger, 510-727-1872, firstname.lastname@example.org
California (Orange County and Los Angeles) - Lee Bashforth, 949-735-8347, email@example.com
Illinois (Chicago) - Don Robinson, 847-356-7703, firstname.lastname@example.org
Massachusetts (Boston) - Ann Hagan Webb 781-239-1182, email@example.com
Missouri (Kansas City) - Mike Hunter, 913-648-3365, firstname.lastname@example.org
Missouri (St. Louis) - Steve Pona, 314-369-8687, email@example.com
New York (NYC) - David Cerulli, 917-757-1791, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) - John Salveson, 610-525-2678, email@example.com
Wisconsin (Milwaukee) - Mark Salmon, 414-774-4350, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chapters being organized currently include:
Alaska (Sitka) - James Weis, 907-747-4862, email@example.com
Florida (St. Augustine) - Jeannie Moore, 904-461-9058, firstname.lastname@example.org
Florida (Orlando) - Richard Heinkel, 407-228-4038, email@example.com
Massachusetts (Springfield) - Mark Furnish, 518-366-5842, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michigan (Detroit) - Claudia Vercellotti, 419-382-7373, email@example.com and Steven Kelly, 616-868-0324, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mississippi (Hattiesburg) - Mark Belenchia, 601-818-3003, email@example.com
Nevada (Las Vegas) - Debbie Tullgren, 702-568-6337, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Jersey (Pennsauken) - Victoria Cubberley, email@example.com
New York (Albany, Buffalo, Rochester) - Joyce Nebush, 315-896-2481, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ohio (Cleveland) - Bennie Pacheco, 440-935-7029, email@example.com
Texas (Dallas) - Kris Galland, 817-329-0599, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wisconsin (Green Bay) - Larry Pierquet, 920-897-4918, email@example.com
Wisconsin (Madison) - Patti Merchant, 414-224-0880, firstname.lastname@example.org
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, email@example.com
California (San Bernardino) - Jim Falls, 949-291-5795, firstname.lastname@example.org
Idaho (Idaho Falls) - Tim McKenna, 208-524-4087, email@example.com
Indiana (South Bend) - Lois Myers, 574-289-8579, firstname.lastname@example.org
Iowa (Des Moines) - John Chambers, 515-993-6820, email@example.com
Kentucky (Louisville) - Gerald Payne, 888-888-8876, firstname.lastname@example.org
Maine (Portland) - Cyndi DesRosiers, 207-622-4075, email@example.com
Michigan (Flint) - Colleen Ptak, 810-733-3579, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mississippi (Canton) - Susan Cannon, 601-856-5044, email@example.com
Missouri (Springfield-Branson) - Phil Pisciotta, 417-546-5861, SNAPMO@yahoo.com
New Jersey (Camden) - Peter Pfister, 863-666-2159, firstname.lastname@example.org
New York (Albany) - Mark Furnish, 518-366-5842, email@example.com
North Carolina - Neil Evans, 828-299-3972, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ohio (Cincinnati) - Dr. Michael Hancock, 513-309-8038, email@example.com
Rhode Island (Providence) - Phyllis Hutnak, 401-368-1680, firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia (Norfolk) - Annette Dickerson, 757-963-8937, email@example.com
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.