South Africa- Survivors group praises decisive action of law enforcement
For immediate release: Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Police in Pretoria acted decisively when they arrested a local priest for acting inappropriately with a child.
The family of the victim reported to police that the priest from the Archdiocese of Pretoria acted inappropriately with their child. The priest has since been barred from ministry while the investigation continues. Another pastor was arrested for possession of child pornography and has since appeared in court to answer for those charges.
We hope that any victims, witnesses, or whistleblowers will take courage from these arrests and speak up. Only through speaking up can we prevent other innocent children from being hurt. These arrests are an encouraging sign that the rights of children are moving to the forefront of public concern.
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, email@example.com), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, 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.