IL--Group urges outreach to other Hastert victims
For immediate release: Friday, May 29
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org)
Let's not sugar-coat what former House speaker Dennis Hastert did. If it involves a student, it was sexual abuse. It wasn't "a relationship." It wasn't "misconduct." It was a hurtful and illegal abuse of power by an influential, popular teacher over a vulnerable youngster.
If Illinois lawmakers had reformed the state's predator-friendly statute of limitations, and enabled more child sex abuse victims to seek justice in court, perhaps this situation would never have happened. Kids would certainly have been safer if Hastert's victim had been able to expose his crimes earlier through our justice system.
We urge current and former students and staff in the Yorkville school district to aggressively seek out and help anyone else who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes or district cover ups. It’s never too late to expose and deter wrongdoers and wrongdoing.
(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)