I first noticed SNAP when a came across a pamphlet in 1995. I thought, similar abuse happened to me. I began to remember being molested by a priest when I was thirteen. This prompted my participation in SNAP support groups twice a month for almost three years. After a while I became more focused on my family and dropped away from SNAP. Within a couple of years I became the father of twin girls who are now thirteen.
About two years ago new, horrific, memories came to me. Fifty years after my abuse I remembered being raped by a priest. These disturbing memories threw me for a loop. My emotional center was gone. Depression, fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, nightmares were overwhelming.
I lived in a world without fully understanding where or what I was. I sought out SNAP and once again participated in working with the network of SNAP members. SNAP was a safe harbor that provided comfort and support as I embarked on a path of healing. SNAP provides an opportunity for me to meet other survivors and develop friendships. I no longer feel alone. I know that it is not my fault and that I should not be ashamed. The members of the SNAP support group understand my injury, sympathize with my struggles and support my journey to a healthier life. These are important elements of building confidence to live life without being burdened by the abuse of the past.
As I became aware of the abuse and the lifelong injury I suffered as a child the more I understood how it had crippled me. With the support of SNAP members and the support from family and friends I developed a solid foundation for healing. Professional counseling also helped address the symptoms of PTSD.
As I developed into my own person I began to be more involved in the work of SNAP outside the support group. The injuries I suffered because of my abuse are not erased, nonetheless I live a fuller, healthier life. This lead to activism as I believed that no child should suffer the abuse I did.
I have gained the ability to move forward with my life. The network of SNAP members supported my steps to a healthier life and are my companions in that journey today. SNAP heals.
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.