TX--Victims blast new Baylor website on sexual violence
For immediate release: Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016
A gang rape has happened each of the last four years at Baylor University in Texas. On a new website, the school’s president pledges to be “more transparent” about sexual violence on campus. But we’re highly skeptical.
The very top of the website shows a defensive posting that criticizes one media outlet for its coverage of the Baylor scandal. That’s hardly “transparent” or encouraging. We suspect this new site is essentially the creation of the school’s public relations and legal defense teams, not a genuine effort to prevent sexual violence.
If President David E. Garland is genuinely interested in promoting openness about rape and sexual assault, he should promptly and publicly punish – or at least suspend - at least one school staffer who ignored or concealed sexual violence. That’s the quickest, clearest and most effective way to begin to reform a campus climate that has historically been secretive and unhealthy when it comes to the safety of students. Until he takes this simple step, his words will continue to ring hollow.
No matter what law enforcement, university or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups at Baylor to protect others by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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.
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.