Whistleblower Clohessy: "Nothing Can Erase the Horror"
US Star Whistle-Blower Clohessy on Sexual Abuse and the Difficulty of Coming to Terms
(This is the English translation of an article that appeared Sunday in the Kurier in Vienna)
He sat on the couch with US talkshow star Oprah Winfrey, he was a guest on Good Morning America, and even the The New York Times Magazine dedicated an extensive reportage to him. This man who has received so much media attention in the United States in recent years is David Clohessy, the spokesman of the NGO SNAP (see Info), which has taken up the cause of victims of sexual abuses in the church. He is the star among the investigators of sexual abuse in the USA.
Yet, a star without airs. Clohessy, 56, has been fighting for years against the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy. As a young boy, he himself was sexually abused by a priest. His brother, as well, was one pastor who allegedly came too close to children. „Clohessy's calm manner makes him one of the most credible spokesmen for the victims of sexual abuse," wrote the Drury University Magazine.
On Friday night Clohessy was a guest in the KURIER editorial office. He spoke about his own path of suffering, his attempts to break through the system of hush-ups and suppression - and about the situation in Austria.
KURIER: As a child, you yourself were abused by a priest.
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.