FL--Group praises man who exposed FL politician

For immediate release: Friday, Nov. 20, 2015

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those abused by Priests (314 566 9790davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

In Politico today, a former Congressional page explains his role in the Rep. Mark Foley sex scandal.  


We applaud Zack Stanton for helping to publicly expose a predatory politician and helping the FBI and Congress investigate him. We hope Stanton’s courage will prod others who see, suspect or suffer sex crimes, misdeeds and cover ups to overcome their hesitancy and report to law enforcement officials promptly.  

And we hope Staton’s bravery will inspire any teenager anywhere who is being victimized by an adult to reach out for help.  

Stanton does a superb job of helping to explain why teens are vulnerable to predators. (“When you’re 16, you think of yourself as far older and more mature than you really are. . . You don’t feel like a kid, and the adults around don’t entirely treat you like one.”

We hope many parents and teens read this piece and keep in mind that it’s not just young kids who can be manipulated by shrewd, cunning adults. It’s also teenagers and young adults.

Our hearts ache for “Joshua,” the page who was sexually exploited by Foley and whose identity was mistakenly revealed by ABC News. We disagree with Stanton, however, when he implies that “Joshua” will suffer consequences on the job because of what Foley did to him. (“Joshua seemed destined for big things—the type of guy you could easily imagine as a congressman or senator. But no more,” Stanton writes.)

Having been sexually approached or violated as a trusting teen by a sophisticated, powerful politician is nothing “Joshua” should feel ashamed of or should let interfere with his career. With therapy, we believe “Joshua” cannot just recover emotionally but professionally too.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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, davidgclohessy@gmail.comSNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747bblaine@snapnetwork.org)

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