VA--VA lawmakers make progress on campus rape bill
For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 27
Statement by Becky Ianni of Virginia, SNAP Leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (703 801 6044, SNAPVirginia@cox.net)
A bill mandating the reporting of alleged campus sexual assaults to police is moving ahead in the Virginia legislature. But it’s a tiny step forward.
Measures like this seem good but sadly, are rarely used. Very few wrongdoers ever go to jail or even face charges for ignoring or concealing sexual assaults, against kids or adults.
So it’s crucial that police and prosecutors really use this law if it’s passed. It can protect the vulnerable and prevent future crimes. But only if those who don’t call police are vigorously prosecuted.
Often law enforcement officials are reluctant to bring “failure to report” charges because the penalties are often so light. We urge Virginia lawmakers to make this offense a felony, not a misdemeanor.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 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)
SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (email@example.com, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-708-6175)
If you are looking to help spread the word about the importance of this summit and for survivors to be heard, add your voice to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PBC2019. Be sure to follow SNAP on twitter and Facebook and share our posts, add your comments, and let the world know that we are watching!Learn More