If you are posting in name of SNAP:
- Keep your comments calm. Angry debates in comments sections only serve to weaken your point.
- Always end by reaching out to other victims. The point of commenting on these articles is to find people and help them heal, not bash the person or institution.
- Always mention prevention or protecting kids today
- Commend victims for speaking up.
- Don't bash Catholics or get into arguments about religion. These only make us look vindictive and spiteful, and detract from the main point: healing, prevention, and education.
- It’s easy to sign on via Facebook account or Google account, and once you’re signed in you can often comment on many different stories on different sites without having to log in again.
- Some sites will restrict what kind of info you can post. For example, Disqus won’t let you use hyperlinks. A lot of comments that are moderated will often delete personal information like address and phone numbers. When you post contact info, try to just include your name and email address, and give out your phone number when people email you.
- If your comment was moderated and not posted, try again, only try without contact info. Some sites, like NCR, only post comments during business hours, so check back the next day to see if it showed up.
- If you post statements that SNAP has made, make sure you include the name of person who made the statement and don’t change anything. We don’t want to put words in people’s mouths.
- Link to the SNAP website!
- Write a long version and a short version of your comment, some sites have a limit on the amount of characters you can use. Also, don’t write a book! The longer your comment, the more likely people will just skim over it
- Register to newspapers in your area and especially look for local articles that might not get picked up by SNAP leaders. Any articles about “child sex abuse,” even if it is not priest abuse can be useful (make a comment that praises the police or prosecutor, or urge people to come forward and report their abuse).
Here’s a good example comment:
PLEASE do not just copy and paste this example word for word. We do not want many different versions of the same comment floating around.
Something to keep in mind-
Child predators are very cunning and manipulative. They know every trick on how to groom, threaten, lie, and put the fear of god into their victims and sometimes even their family members.
Sexual predators are often powerful and well-loved. It would be comforting if those who preyed on the vulnerable were obvious social misfits whose appearance would somehow set off alarm bells and give us ‘the willies’ or ‘the creeps.’ They rarely do. Usually, predators are among the last people we would suspect of sexually violating others. At a party, the predator isn’t some oddball sitting alone in a corner because others feel uncomfortable with him. Most often, the predator is the guy throwing the party.
We must overcome the dangerous myth that because someone is successful or warm or caring, he or she “couldn’t have done that!
Also, we must stop thinking that because a man is old, that somehow he’s automatically “safe.” It’s just irresponsible to endanger kids by assuming an adult is “harmless” simply because he or she may be losing hair, wearing glasses, using hearing aids or walking with a cane. These can be signs of advancing age, but they are not signs that an individual is safe around kids.
It is extremely rare that a child predator has only one victim. Hopefully if anyone has knowledge or may have been harmed by __________, they will contact the police.
Also keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.
Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director
"Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests" and all clergy.
Thanks to Judy Jones for these tips.