Church Victims of Sexual Abuse Celebrate its 30th Anniversary in Chicago

The oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings celebrates its 30th anniversary in Chicago

SNAP supporters come together for information, healing, empowerment, and exposing abuse

Experts, Journalists, International Figures converge for this landmark event


Survivors, their supporters, and advocates will gather in Chicago this weekend to attend the 15th annual SNAP conference and to celebrate its 30th anniversary. SNAP, The Survivors Network ( was founded in Chicago in 1988.


July 6-8, 2018
The Palmer House Hilton

17 East Monroe Street, Chicago, IL 60603

**Media should inquire at SNAP CONFERENCE CHECK-IN and ask for Judy Jones, Steve Spaner, Tim Lennon or Melanie Sakoda**


(please confirm availability upon arrival, not all experts will be available at all times due to scheduling/speaking conflicts)

Mitchell Garabedian

Attorney for victims of abuse, portrayed by Stanley Tucci in Spotlight

Pam Spees 

Attorney and United Nations War Crimes expert, Center for Constitutional Rights

Thomas Doyle

A Catholic priest who has worked on exposing clergy sexual abuse in the U.S., Europe and Canada since 1984, and has helped grand juries in the U.S. and investigatory commissions in Australia, Ireland and Canada

Victor Vieth

The Senior Director and Founder of the Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center and author of Unto the Third Generation, a book that outlines the necessary steps to eliminate child abuse in America in three generations

Anne Barrett Doyle and Terry McKiernan

Co-directors of the intrepid website Bishop Accountability, that documents the clergy abuse crisis in the US

Chrissie Foster

Author of Hell On The Way To Heaven, the book that led to a Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into religious organizations, which in turn led to the Australia-wide Royal Commission. Chrissie also participated in the ABC documentary , Undeniable, which will be screened on Saturday night.

Ashley Easter

Author of The Courage Coach: A Practical, Friendly Guide on How to Heal From Abuse and the founder of The Courage Conference

Gustavo Arellano Miranda

Orange County author and former publisher and editor of a nationally syndicated column in the OC Weekly who found himself, a cradle Catholic, covering the Catholic sex abuse crisis

Marek Lisinski

Co-founder of the first and only Polish organization to address clergy sexual abuse, the Be Not Afraid Foundation 

Steven Spaner, PhD

Retired professor from the University of Missouri in St. Louis, who developed the website

Torah Bontrager

Author of An Amish Girl in Manhattan: Escaping At Age 15, Breaking All the Rules, and Feeling Safe Again

Jodi Hobbs

Survivor of a Behavioral Modification facility in California and the founder of Survivors of Institutional Abuse (SIA)

Rachel Grant

A Sexual Abuse Recovery Coach and the author of Beyond Surviving: The Final Stage in Recovery from Sexual Abuse.

Guila Benchimol

A PhD candidate in Sociological Criminology whose research and advocacy focuses on sexual violence, especially in religious communities.


Numerous attendees—survivors and supporters; first-timers and annual attendees—will be available to interview

About the SNAP Conference:

The SNAP Conference, now in its 15th year, is an annual global gathering of sexual abuse survivors, their supporters, and advocates. Each year, the conference aims to enrich, uplift, empower, engage, and inform survivors. It does this by bringing in the best and brightest experts in the field and creating an environment of positivity and growth.

About SNAP:

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 at network of 25,000 survivors and supporters. Our website is

Press Contacts at the Conference:

Judy Jones 636-433-2511, [email protected]

Steven Spaner 636-433-2511, [email protected]  

Tim Lennon, 415-312-5820, [email protected]

Melanie Sakoda 925-708-6175, [email protected]


SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant