Switzerland--Victims blast Swiss church abuse program
For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 5, 2016
We are deeply skeptical of Catholic church abuse victim pay out plans like the one just adopted by Swiss bishops.
These programs are almost always unilateral, top-down efforts to prevent litigation and legislative reform of predator-friendly secular laws. They are really about continued secrecy, not victims’ healing or children’s safety.
If kids are to be safer, adults must make it easier, not harder, for victims to report sexual violence. These programs often make it harder.
When these programs happen, church officials should not insist on insensitive, arbitrary and self-serving deadlines which force still-suffering victims to move quickly to deal with decades of pain or else be left out in the cold again.
And the amounts must be much greater, because of the devastating, life-long harm caused to these vulnerable, innocent kids which continues to cause deep suffering for decades.
No matter what church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in churches, schools or institutions – especially religious ones – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Victims’ fund available to Catholic Church abuse victims
DEC 5, 2016 - 18:53
Victims who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic Church representatives in Switzerland can now access a special fund to claim compensation. The idea was first launched a year ago by the Swiss Bishops Conference.
At the moment, the newly created fund contains CHF500,000 ($495,500) to compensate abuse victims, who may receive a single payment of up to CHF10,000 ($9,966) according to last year’s plan for the fund.
Bishop Charles Morerod, the head of the Swiss Bishops Conference, said on Monday that the fund “only covers prescribed cases” while recalling the “particularly difficult” situation of abuse victims whose cases "were not heard or addressed for a long time by the Church's authorities".
Contributors to the new fund include . . .