CA--The real Oscar winners tonight
For immediate release: Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016
We already know who the winners are at the Oscars. They're the same folks who “win” every single time someone watches, discusses, or reads a review of Spotlight.
No matter which Hollywood types walk away with those statues tonight, kids are the real winners. They are safer because the movie Spotlight has prompted hundreds of thousands to think, talk and take action about child sex crimes and cover ups, even or especially in trusted institutions.
These adults are more careful now with babysitters. They are more attentive to changes in kids’ behavior. They more skeptical about claims by officials about alleged “openness,” “care” and “prudence” about kids’ safety.
We are deeply, deeply grateful for this fact. As a result, more children will be protected as a result, more victims will be believed and more crimes will be prevented.
Of course, every single victim, witness and whistleblower who reported abuse and was repeatedly ignored or disbelieved - or worse, attacked and punished - is also a winner. Being imperfectly, indirectly and belatedly vindicated beats not being vindicated at all.
And of course every journalist who had the courage to face, investigate and report this horror - often despite push-back and obstacles from Catholic officials and their often misguided and sometimes mean-spirited allies - is a winner. Among them: Laurie Goodstein, Allen Cooperman, Cathy Grossman, Stan Finger, Joe Bergantino, Patty Montemurri, Bill Lobdell, Bill Zajac, Judy Thomas, Todd Lighty, Janet Tu, Peter Smith, Dave Altamari, Robin Washington, Brooks Egerton, Nicole Winfield, David Briggs, Reese Dunklin, Marilyn Vise, Richard Winton, Marie Rohde, Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola, Shirley Ragsdale, Robin Washington, Tom Fox, Abe Levy, Cathleen Falsani, Tom Roberts, Joe Feuerherd, Jason Berry, Dan Tepfer, Will Carless, Madeleine Baran and hundreds of others.
Of course, sadly, it takes much more than public awareness to stop those who commit and conceal child sex crimes. But exposing hundreds of thousands of people across the planet to a compelling, reality-based film about this crisis – people who might otherwise not pick up a book, go hear a speech or search the Internet for information about abuse – is, in itself, an incredible achievement and a real, life-changing “win” for countless children.
(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)