CO-- Bill Cosby jokes about rape & should be boycotted
For immediate release: Friday, Jan. 9
Statement by Jeb Barrett of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 720-891-0540, [email protected]
Last night, Bill Cosby joked about the two dozen rape allegations against him. That’s appalling. It adds insult to injury. http://www.people.com/article/bill-cosby-jokes-about-sexual-assault-allegations
In light of this, and the allegations against him – one of child sexual abuse and several of adult rape – we urge Colorado citizens to boycott and protest his appearances. These events will just rub more salt into the deep wounds of victims of sexual violence, both those hurt by Cosby and those hurt by other predators.
We are very disappointed that Bill Cosby will perform soon in Pueblo (Jan. 16) and Denver (Jan. 17). http://www.denverpost.com/entertainment/ci_27262780/bill-cosbys-jan-17-denver-shows-will-goWhen credibly accused sex offenders keep getting plaudits and paychecks, it depresses victims and discourages them from reporting sexual predators and preventing crimes. And it rubs even more salt into already deep and often still fresh wounds. In light of the sheer number of women who have come forward, it adds insult to injury to allow Cosby to perform at this time.
We applaud the brave women who are speaking up about Cosby’s alleged crimes. That takes real courage. We hope other women and girls who were assaulted by this shrewd predator will find ways to seek justice against him. We hope those who have information will continue to come forward.
Finally, we urge others who were hurt by Cosby to consider filing police reports and civil lawsuits against him and his public relations staff. As my fellow SNAP leader Barbara Dorris said last month:
"Ever so gradually, courts are more open to novel arguments that overcome the archaic, predator-friendly statutes of limitations that protect child molesters. And ever so gradually, legislators are suspending, extending or eliminating those arbitrary and unwise statutes. Kids are safer as a result."
The bar for criminal prosecution is high. Police and prosecutors often feel pressured to focus largely on recent crimes. And few in law enforcement relish the idea of taking on a popular, powerful and wealthy defendant like Cosby.
We want to believe that sexual predators are “dirty old men” hiding in the bushes. We want to believe that we can easily recognize a predator, that they cannot be someone we know or admire. In reality they are often charming, well educated, productive members of society.
So criminal charges against Cosby are unlikely. So if innocent children are to be protected and wounded adults are to be healed, civil justice must happen. Civilized societies pursue war criminals decades after their wrongdoing. Our Justice Department pursues racists who terrorized African Americans during the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. So why can’t we also pursue those who terrorize kids decades late, especially given research that shows sex offenders rarely stop?
Why should Cosby’s victims sue? To help themselves find closure, recovery and expose the truth. To inspire other child sex abuse victims to speak up. To expose how inadequate our child safety laws are is a bold step in protecting future generations of kids. And to remind us all that no legal deadline should prevent wounded victims from exposing criminals in court. As evidenced by the dozens of women who have come forward, risking everything, the clock may have stopped on their chance for justice in the courtroom, but there is no statute of limitation on the pain and suffering that envelops sexual assault.
We hope the revelations against Cosby will prod more victims to sue and more lawmakers to reform hurtful laws that block victims from justice.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have 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)