For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 10, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
As early as tomorrow morning, the US Senate may vote on a measure to combat rape in the military. We urge them to back the toughest measure possible. We especially commend New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for her work on this crucial issue.
At our last national conference, we honored a very brave young woman who was raped in the military. We commend her, and others, who are seeking justice and shedding light on how miserably many in the military brass respond to these horrific cases.
Every sex crime is horrific. But when offenders are coddled by institutions, the already devastating pain of victims is made worse and the likelihood of re-offense is made greater. Those who ignore or conceal or minimize sex crimes must be harshly punished. And systems must be put in place that enable more checks and balances and outside scrutiny of these cases, especially in powerful, male-dominated institutions.
(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 25 years and have more than 15,000 members. 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)