120 Investigations into Clergy Abuse in Kansas thanks to KBI

Last year the Kansas Bureau of Investigation announced that they had opened an investigation into clergy abuse in 33 counties throughout their state. Today, the KBI updated Kansans with the news that they have opened 120 individual cases after receiving more than 200 reports from survivors, witnesses, and whistleblowers.

We applaud the KBI not only for launching this investigation but also for taking steps to keep the public informed about their progress. When people see that the reports lead to action, it encourages others who may have information to come forward and share what they have as well. An investigation like this takes time and keeping the public updated along the way is a great decision by the KBI.

We hope that other states around the country will look to the situation in Kansas and see the power that hotlines and confidential reporting can have. Sexually violent crimes already create feelings of fear and shame in victims, so giving survivors multiple pathways to report their abuse in a safe and private manner can help ensure that necessary information about abusers and enablers is passed on to the professionals in law enforcement.

In the past several years, more and more attention has been paid to the issue of clergy abuse which has naturally led to more and more victims coming forward. We call on every single state Bureau of Investigation to create, staff, and fund a hotline to receive these confidential reports and to take steps to investigate and punish those who would abuse children and vulnerable adults as well as anyone who covers-up those crimes.

The KBI is continuing to field reports from survivors and we urge anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered abuse in Kansas to contact the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME or by email at clergyabuse@kbi.ks.gov.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.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)


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