As Hollywood Abuse Scandal Grows, Clergy Victims Offer Support, Healing, Network

Statement by Esther Hatfield Miller, Southern California Leader, SNAP, The Survivors Network,  ( 673-9442[email protected]

Sexual abuse and harassment thrive when powerful institutions use fear, money, shame, fame, or religion to silence innocent victims.

Hundreds of brave victims coming forward in Hollywood have been silenced and shamed for decades, just like we were as children. We were all silenced out of fear— that, perhaps, we had done something to deserve the assault, the harassment, or the abuse. 

The fight of Hollywood's victims and their healing is far from over. We also fear that the scandal has only just begun and that many more victims will come forward, needing help. 

For the past 25 years, SNAP, the Survivors Network, has dedicated and expanded our mission to helping anyone who was sexually abused, harassed or assaulted in any institutional system that continued to revictimize them. We understand how men like Harvey Weinstein used powerful attorneys to silence his victims and shame them out of the industry. We know why women were forced to worked with him for decades after he forced himself on them. 

We know what it feels like when people say, "Why did you keep going back?" "Why didn't you call the cops?" "Why didn't you report?" "Why did everyone keep the secret."

And we can help victims begin the healing. We get it.

We have support groups meetings monthly and members throughout Southern California. Our members have been abused in all kinds of institutions and come from all kinds of backgrounds. You can find a home.


(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 members. Our website is


Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Managing Director (314-503-0003[email protected]),  Joelle Casteix 949-322-7434[email protected] or Melanie Sakoda 925-708-6175 [email protected]

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  • Ann Peterson
    commented 2017-11-09 19:42:35 -0600
    While the #Metoo “campaign” is giving many the courage and support to tell their stories, it is added anguish and pain with every new predator that is accused each day for those who’ve suffered in silence. I too will tell my story with a Catholic priest from the Archdiocese of Boston. I’m new to this group tonight and not ready. My heart is heavy with every revelation of abuse.
  • J.R.S.
    commented 2017-11-01 11:18:23 -0500
    That’s all very true and real. But why compare? I don’t think they are comparing these two issues, just offering support for an issue and people that need it. Children and people are being abused. That’s the bottom line and it needs to stop. But I understand what you are saying.
  • John Nesbella
    commented 2017-11-01 10:12:41 -0500
    The Roman Catholic church is an international organization/religion with 1.2 Billion members. Hollywood by comparison is a drop in a bucket. This church has an “infallible”, supreme leader who is clearly the head of this group. Hollywood has no supreme leaders who is clearly responsible for everything that happens there. The Vatican is a sovereign nation-state with diplomats and embassies in every country on earth. Hollywood is a group of actors in the entertainment industry. The church has been around for over 1700 years. Hollywood-maybe a hundred years. The church is governed by a distinct group-the bishops and operate with a distinct set of rules called Canon Law. The church and its leaders are considered the closest thing to god on earth by hundreds of millions of people. It’s the difference between an ant and an elephant. Church supports always like to point out the sexual abuse of children that exists in the school system, the business world, and the entertainment industry-they like to point out that sexual abuse exists in all institutions and their point is to use that as an excuse. As if to say: “see the church is not so bad.” There is nothing on the face of the earth that even begins to compare with the sexual abuse of children-not actors-by the Roman Catholic church and its priests and bishops-absolutely nothing; not even the sexual abuse of women and children by Muslims.
  • J.R.S.
    commented 2017-11-01 09:24:53 -0500
    @John Nesbella, Children in Hollywood are being sexually abused. Now is the time to come together for children and to stop this, not to try and draw lines. Protecting kids is the top priority. Also, when you think about it, the difference is not that great. Grown men/women in places of power using that power to take advantage of children and young people, and using that power to silence them and their families for years?
  • John Nesbella
    commented 2017-11-01 07:10:29 -0500
    The Hollywood scandal is completely different from the sexual abuse of innocent children by priests.
  • Allen Sires
    commented 2017-10-28 16:58:00 -0500
    These folks may want to have an escape plan before they report.

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