SNAP urges Senate action on rapes in military
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)
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.