Washington D.C. Opens Hotline for Survivors of Clergy Sex Abuse
For immediate release, October 22 2018
Today, the U.S. Attorney’s office for Washington D.C. has announced that they are opening an hotline and email address that survivors of clergy sex abuse and those that have knowledge of abuse can use to report their experiences.
The opening of this line of communication – directly between survivors of sexual abuse and criminal investigators – is an excellent step taken by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu. Creating this confidential avenue for survivors to report what they may have seen, suspected or suffered in Washington D.C. area gives survivors a new chance to come forward with their experiences and may potentially lead to the justice that is so often elusive for survivors of institutional sexual abuse. Given how important holding perpetrators accountable can be, both for survivors’ healing and the prevention of future cases, we hope that today’s announcement is the first step towards an independent investigation into the Archdiocese of Washington D.C.
We are especially grateful for the sensitivity that the U.S. Attorney’s office is displaying in asking for this information. They are not only interested in reports of wrongdoing, but also in helping survivors along their healing journey. In order to do so, they have put together a website that lists some resources that may be helpful to survivors and their loved ones.
We encourage anyone who may have been abused in Washington D.C. to call the U.S. Attorney’s hotline at 202-252-7008 or send an email to USADC.ReportClergyAbuse@usdoj.gov.
CONTACT: Becky Ianni, SNAP Treasurer, Local DC SNAP leader (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, (703) 801-6044), David Lorenz, SNAP Maryland leader (David.Lorenz@verizon.net, 301-906-9161) Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Secretary (925-708-6175, email@example.com) Zach Hiner, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. 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.