CT- Deter wrong doing, preserve law SNAP says

For immediate release: Sept. 18, 2014

Statement by Jim Hackett, Connecticut co-leader of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (203-710-0968, [email protected])

Deterrence. That's what I want to stress: current Connecticut law deters wrongdoing. That's why current Connecticut law should be preserved.

The message our current law sends is this: “Don't try to hide child sex crimes. With our smart and just statute of limitations, you won't succeed in keeping it under wraps long enough to escape detection. So when abuse reports surface, act promptly and responsibly and protect kids.” That's the message we should keep sending. That's the message Archbishop Blair doesn't want to hear. He wants to go back to the old days when a tight, unfair statute of limitations stopped victims who wanted to show the public, through judicial channels, who the molesters were and who their enablers were.

It's tough for a supervisor to call 911 when he or she suspects an employee is assaulting boys or girls. But in Connecticut, that supervisor knows those boys or girls, even decades later, may file lawsuits. They may prove to the public that trusted authority figures acted improperly. That's a strong disincentive for a supervisor who's tempted to act selfishly. That's a strong prod to a supervisor to act responsibly.

A restrictive statute of limitations will save complicit Catholic officials money. More importantly, it will save complicit Catholic officials' reputations and power and careers. We think this is the real reason Blair wants to overturn Connecticut's statute of limitations. And we think this is terribly dangerous and unwise. We hope he fails and kids win.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years 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)

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]

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