UK- Victims sue church over child sex crimes, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Monday, October 13, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Executive Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790, email@example.com)
Two victims of a now jailed Jehovah’s Witness elder are suing the church for failing to protect them from sexual abuse. We applaud the bravery of these two women and hope their courage inspires others to step forward.
Mark Sewell was an elder of the Jehovah’s Witness in the UK. This summer he was put behind bars for sex crimes. According to the recently filed lawsuit against the Jehovah’s Witness, church officials knew about allegations against Sewell, but did nothing to prevent future abuses. There are allegedly at least 15 other victims of Sewell.
We urge anyone– whether victim, witness or whistleblower – to speak up now and safeguard innocent kids and vulnerable adults by exposing wrongdoers within the church. While Sewell is in jail, his colleagues and superiors allegedly knew of his abuses and covered it up.
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
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.