15 Survivors Reach Settlement with Diocese of Crookston
The Diocese of Crookston today has settled with fifteen survivors of clergy abuse. We hope that this settlement will bring comfort, healing, and change.
We applaud these brave survivors for speaking up, persevering, and for insisting on pledges of reform by church officials and disclosure of long-hidden abuse records, not just financial considerations in this settlement. Litigation can help survivors get the power to change church practices as well as achieve justice, and we are glad these survivors took the chance to demand both.
It is good that a bankruptcy was avoided because that process almost inevitably helps church officials keep hidden documents hidden and ensures cover ups remain covered up.
We hope that the information that the Diocese of Crookston has agreed to release will be made public soon. Information about those who committed and concealed these crimes will create a safer, more informed community and will help parents, police, prosecutors, and parishioners better protect children and vulnerable adults.
Finally, we hope this news will encourage others who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups to come forward and get help. Abuse is not a burden any of us can or should try to carry alone, and we hope anyone suffering in shame, silence and self-blame will find the strength to call trusted, independent sources of help like police, prosecutors, therapists and support groups like ours.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, 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)