Shame On You, Shameful and Defeated Serbia - A blog by Bojan Jovanovic

At this doorstep of Christian suffering that Good Friday represents, at this doorstep of Christian joy that Easter, the resurrection of Christ, brings it is fitting to be reminded that it is up to us all to contribute to the end of sexual violence, abuse and assault against children and young people. And when it comes to ending such abuse and suffering brought upon by members of the clergy and Church hierarchies, by the Church, then indeed Christians especially are morally and otherwise duty bound to assist in rooting out such evil from the temples of God on earth.

SNAP Supporter & Donor Profile: Self-Empowerment: Michael Roberts

This profile was written by Patrick Price, Fundraising and Development Manager of SNAP, to honor our courageous and dedicated supporters and donors.

For more than a decade, beginning at age 17, Michael Roberts was mentally and emotionally dominated and sexual abused by a Catholic priest, whom I will refer to as “Fr. Gregory.” Michael’s trauma began at his high school in his hometown in Massachusetts. At first, Michael viewed the priest as a charismatic and caring man, almost a second father, who invited him to outings, events, and his residence. Fr. Gregory seemed to be a compassionate man who in time integrated himself deeply into Michael’s family. His parents loved and trusted the priest whom they regularly invited to family dinners and vacations. Yet, inside this man who beamed with love lurked a dark shadow, one that would eventually engulf Michael.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month - Here are a few ways to get invovlved

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and this year we are leading a couple of great events that we want you to be involved in. Read on for more information and how you can help us recognize survivors during Sexual Assault Awareness Month:


Empowering Survivors through our Survivor Speak Out

This April, we are again partnering with our friends at The Army of Survivors to hold a Survivor Speak Out. This event will be held virtually on April 13 from 4 to 6 PM ET.

At this event, we will have an opportunity for approximately 10 people to share their stories and experiences and welcome all survivors of sexual abuse as well as allies, advocates, friends, and family. 

Here's how you can get involved:

Please register to join us, even if you don't want to speak, and be there to support the survivors who are speaking out. If you know a survivor you think might want to share their story, please share the registration info with them.


A resource for survivors, supporters, and advocates

The website has a number of helpful resources for survivors. It has been recently updated.
~How to research an abuser
~What to say to a victim
~Why does it take decades to report

SNAP Supporter & Donor Profile: No More Shame: Brian Toale

This profile was written by Patrick Price, Fundraising and Development Manager of SNAP, to honor our courageous and dedicated supporters and donors.

In the early 1970s during most of his senior year in high school, Brian Toale was sexually abused by a faculty member who ran the Ham Radio Club of which Brian was a member. For more than 20 years, Brian’s struggle with the effects of those events led him ultimately to 12 Step recovery and therapy, which allowed him to slowly, over the next 25 years, put his life back together. He came to realize that the sexual abuse was not his fault and the shame he had felt all those years should never have been his to bear.

In order to “move on” and symbolically give back the shame, Brian wrote a letter to the principal of his old high school describing the facts and details of what he had undergone during the sexual abuse encounter and the effects the abuse had on his life. The goal of his letter was closure and as Brian puts it, to bring “relief to his mind and spirit.”

Italy, what kind of country are you?


Marc Artzrouni, Europe Coordinator

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)

[email protected]

February 21, 2022 

Italy is a country that has had a long and cozy relationship with the Vatican which sits in the heart of Rome. Italy is a country where 80% of the population is catholic and the Church's moral authority is mostly unchallenged. Italy is a country which under Mussolini signed a treaty with the Vatican that provides the latter with "legal autonomy" from the Italian state.

Italy is a country where the priest Gianni Bekiaris can keep an eight-year-old boy in sexual slavery for 16 years.  When he was finally reported to religious authorities Bekiaris was found guilty under canon law and was banned from "administering his duties with minors" - but not defrocked.

As a result of the aforementioned "legal autonomy" and of Italy's statutes of limitations, Bekiaris escaped civil prosecution.  When ambushed by a BBC reporter who asked him if he was a pedophile, he answered that "those are your words".  He's right to protest: he's no pedophile, he's a monster,  a monster who's walking free.   How shocking is that? 


Victim of sexual violence of priests: The church hid under the auspices of political thugs

Despite the constant denial of the existence of organized pedophilia and sexual
abuse by the clergy of the Orthodox Churches who want to show it as individual
cases, the facts say the opposite, says the priest Bojan Jovanović.


Research to specifically focus on those who were abused by clergy after they turned 18 and reported the abuse to their religious institution

My name is Krystal Woolston. I have followed the work of SNAP for a long time but have not had big interactions. I initially started following SNAP in 2013 when I reported a pastor in my denomination (Methodist). I recently gave a talk about my experience at a ted-style UMC conference, so I've included that script as an attachment. 
In the time that has passed since then, I started in a Human Development PhD program at Montclair State University (an institution I also work at). I had originally started my PhD program with the intent to focus research on community engagement (the area I currently work in), but as time went on and I struggled with the response from my church and denomination, I realized that this was the area I really wanted to research and hopefully make a meaningful impact on the way religious institutions respond to reports of abuse. 
I am focusing my research specifically on those who were abused by clergy after they turned 18 and reported the abuse to their religious institution. I am looking at whether how the institution responds impacts a survivor's well-being, spirituality, and post traumatic growth. I am now at the stage of data collection for my dissertation. I developed a completely anonymous survey (including randomizing IP addresses so locations cannot be detected), with an option to participate in an interview at a later date. I am hoping to collect survey data through April 10th. I've included as an attachment my approved proposal for my research as well. 
I'm really passionate about this work and I think the more respondents I hear from the more likely institutions will be willing to make adjustments to policies in their responses, so any assistance at all would be appreciated. Please let me know.

Krystal Woolston (she/her/hers)
Assistant Director, Center for Community Engagement
Phone: 973-655-4268
Email: [email protected]

Ribera Law Firm Becomes Gold Level Sponsor for SNAP’s 2022 Mini Conferences

For a second year in a row, we are delighted to announce that Ribera Law Firm of San Francisco, California, has become a Gold Level Sponsor for each of SNAP’s virtual mini conferences. Each one of these four one-day conferences throughout 2022 is free to attendees and will provide new resources for support of and education to our audience of advocates, sexual abuse survivors, and their families. The first 2022 mini conference is scheduled for March.

Ribera Law Firm has had much success in representing victims of clergy sexual abuse. Attorney Sandra Ribera Speed says that the key to her firm’s success is that she doesn’t just see her clients as clients but as partners with whom she walks side by side throughout the emotional journey that bringing a clergy sexual abuse case entails. At Ribera Law Firm, Sandra Ribera Speed’s primary focus is on supporting her clients in any way she can and empowering them as they continue their path toward justice.

We offer our sincerest gratitude to Ribera Law Firm for its support of our mini conferences and for the excellent work it does for survivors within our network.

SNAP Supporter & Donor Profile: Standing up for Oneself: Mona Randolph

This profile was written by Patrick Price, Fundraising and Development Manager of SNAP, to honor our courageous and dedicated supporters and donors.

As a child, Mona Randolph experienced horrific and terrifying violence at home, where her father beat her regularly and, as she grew older, her grandfather sexually molested her. Vulnerability, fear and victimization were the dynamics that Mona lived with constantly, always looking for a loving place where she could belong.

At 19, during her second year of college, Mona was invited to attend a church gathering at the Cathedral of The Holy Spirit, a charismatic, Pentecostal megachurch in a suburb of Atlanta. This church was founded by Earl Pearly Paulk, Jr., who would later become a self-proclaimed “archbishop.” Because of the liturgical arts of dance and drama incorporated into each gathering, and because of her love of singing, Mona became a member of the church and eventually the church’s lead vocalist. At this place of worship, Mona thought she had found a new home among the more than 20,000 congregants. However, darkness lurked within the walls of the cathedral.

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant