UK- Second victim of jailed Jehovah's Witness elder speaks up, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Thursday, July 24, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
A second victim of a Jehovah’s Witness elder, who earlier this month was found guilty of sexually assaulting two young girls and raping another woman, has spoken up. We are grateful to this brave victim for having the courage to speak up.
Mark Sewell was convicted of having “groomed” at least one of his victims, and using his position of power within the Jehovah’s Witness to prey on these girls. We are glad that another victim has found the courage to speak up.
Because of the brave victims who worked courageously to get Sewell behind bars, other children will be safer. We hope this gives courage to other victims of Sewell and others to speak up and start healing.
(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.