Christian Theater Shut Down in San Diego Amid Allegations of Abuse, SNAP Calls for AG Involvement
The San Diego branch of a national chain of Christian youth theaters has been shut down following extensive allegations of sexual abuse perpetrated by former staffers at the theater. We call for the attorney general of California to investigate this situation and determine if there are any crimes that can still be prosecuted and if there are any abusers hidden among the community.
Allegations of sexual abuse committed at Christian Youth Theater began circulating on social media after former students and employees shared their experiences using the hashtag #CYTKnew. If it is indeed true that theater higher-ups were aware of the crimes and worked to cover them up as these survivors have alleged, we believe that law enforcement must step in as soon as possible to investigate. Especially given that this is a nationwide chain, we fear that if abuse was covered-up at one location, it likely was covered up elsewhere, too.
The allegations made on Facebook are serious. According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego and El Cajon law enforcement have already received reports of the claims. We hope that they are already investigating and that AG Xavier Becerra will lend his office’s resources and knowledge to assist in this case. Based on the information put out by former students and employees, it seems highly likely that the problems at CYT ran all the way to the top.
The only way for the truth to be exposed in these kinds of situations are for victims and witnesses to feel empowered to come forward, feel protected when they do so, and for their information to be used to get abusers off the street and enablers made to answer for their crimes. We hope that AG Becerra will get involved and share the information uncovered with other states where the CYT operates so that investigations can take place in those states as well.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.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)