TN- Church music teacher molested? SNAP responds
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 2, 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)
Church officials who paid a music teacher who is accused of molesting kids should now take aggressive steps to find and help others who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes.
It's not right for Hope Presbyterian officials to sit back now and expect police and prosecutors to do all the work. Church staff must use their pulpit, publications and email lists to seek out anyone with any knowledge of or suspicions about Matthew Williams.
Too often, church officials wash their hands of abuse cases when law enforcement gets involved. But that's irresponsible. If you hire and pay an adult who ends up assaulting children, you have a duty to help get that adult prosecuted, convicted and jailed.
(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 20,000 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.