TN--Sex Abuse victims/advocates want church to act
"Remove Andy Savage from ministry,” SNAP tells HighPoint officials
"Any time someone in a position of authority abuses that power for sexual gratification, the victims suffer devastating consequences,” survivors declare
Victims’ group adds their voices to the outcry -- "Justice for Jules”
Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will urge HighPoint Church officials to:
-- remove Andy Savage from ministry for his actions while Jules Woodson’s youth pastor, and
-- acknowledge the serious damage caused by a minister’s boundary violations.
Monday, January 29 at 11:00 a.m.
On the sidewalk across from HighPoint Church, 6000 Briarcrest, Memphis, TN 38120 (corner of Sweetbriar and Briarcrest)
David Brown, a Volunteer Leader with SNAP, and at least a dozen supporters of Woodson. Brown is a survivor of clergy sexual abuse.
Officials of HighPoint Church have not removed Andy Savage from ministry despite the admission by Savage that he initiated sexual activity with Woodson, at the time a 17-year-old youth group member. This was an abuse of his power as an authority figure and should disqualify him from continuing to hold such a position.
Participants in this event believe that the failure to act is a direct sign that the Church does not take this type of boundary violation seriously, despite the serious damage it causes. By refusing to act, officials not only dismiss Woodson’s pain, they also discourage other abuse survivors within and without the church from coming forward.
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.