Why I do what I do
By David Clohessy
Last week, in less than 24 hours, SNAP was in at least seven news outlets in three cities last week. Why? And why is this important?
The “why” is simple: we have dedicated volunteer leaders across the country (and increasingly, the world) who are:
--smart enough to recognize outreach opportunities, and
--generous enough to quickly drop their other responsibilities and seize those opportunities.
When abuse scandals surfaced in Seattle, Oakland and Kalamazoo, SNAP leaders Mary Dispenza, Bill McAlary, Tim Lennon and Melanie Sakoda dropped what they were doing, overcame their hesitation, summoned their strength and used these scandals to further expose church wrongdoing, raise the expectations bar, and beg those with knowledge or suspicions about abuse to come forward.
Why is this important?
Again, the answer is simple. Because virtually no one else is doing this. Virtually no one else relentlessly urges people who can make kids safer to take action.
And it’s important because it works. It might be years until these efforts bear fruit. But they WILL bear fruit. We in SNAP will at some point hear from victims, witnesses and whistleblowers in or near these three cities. Their phone messages or emails will include this some version statement: “I saw your group in the news in January of 2016 and I’m just now able or willing to step and do something.”
That, in a nutshell, is why I do what I do: because I get to work with and help tremendous leaders like Mary, Bill, Tim and Melanie. And together, we help others still trapped in shame, silence and self-blame and make kids safer by exposing those who commit and conceal child sex crimes.
It’s just that simple. And that wonderful.
Details are here:
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.