SNAP Support Group Meeting
Suggested Welcome Message
We welcome you to the ______ - area SNAP meeting! We hope you will find the comfort, help and friendship we have been privileged to enjoy.
SNAP is a grass-roots organization made up wholly of survivors and their support people. We were sexually abused, most of us as children, by priests. Survivors seek healing and empowerment and find it by joining with other survivors. The only requirement for membership is that of being a survivor or support person.
As a result of the abuse, some survivors have chosen to have no association with any Church. Some among us have become members of other faiths, while some have stayed active, to various degrees, within the Church. There are priests and sisters among us who are themselves survivors. The clergy members, among the SNAP membership, attend as survivors only, and not in their role of representatives of the Church. In the SNAP meeting, we are all peers. SNAP members shed any professional roles and titles when they enter these rooms.
The SNAP organization has a threefold purpose: 1) to provide self-help support to survivors; 2) to share resources and information among survivors; 3) to organize for political action to challenge the institutional Church to better deal with the problem of its priests' sexual misconduct. You may join for one, two of all three purposes. There are many opportunities within SNAP but no requirements. Sometimes healing comes simply from listening. It is up to the individual how she or he wishes to participate.
SNAP members share their experiences without judging those of others. SNAP meetings and attendance are confidential. Everything that is said here, in the meeting and member-to-member, must be held in the strictest confidence. Only in this way can we feel safe to discuss what is on our hearts and minds.
SNAP Support Group Meeting
Suggested Closing Message
In closing, remember that the opinions expressed here were strictly those of the person who gave them. Take what you want, and leave the rest.
Talk to each other, reason things out with someone else, but let there be no gossip or criticism of one another. The things you heard were spoken in confidence and should be treated as confidential. Keep them within the walls of this room and the confines of your mind.
A few special words to those of you who haven't been with us long: Whatever your problems, there are those among us who have had them, too. We aren't perfect. The welcome we give you may not show the warmth we have in our hearts for you. After a while you'll discover that though you may not like all of us, you'll love us in a very special way -- the way we already love you. We realize that it took as much courage for you to come to this meeting as it did the person next to you. That strength and courage have not gone unnoticed.
We wish you well in this healing journey.