Lawyer Calls Survivors “Pigs at the Trough,” SNAP Responds

An attorney for an accused California priest took his chance to disparage every survivor of child sexual abuse by calling them “damaged” and “people with unsuccessful lives who want to feel important.” He argued that the Diocese of Fresno’s call for reports of abuse is like “inviting the pigs to line up at the trough for whatever their needs are.”

By lashing out in all directions against survivors of child sexual abuse, attorney Kyle Humphrey looks like an angry parishioner, not a composed attorney. And through his quotes Mr. Humphrey does not actually defend his client, but merely enforces the status quo.

The science on sexual violence is clear. Very few victims ever come forward to report their abuse, and those that do often take years, if not decades to come forward. Why? Because of the feelings of shame, guilt, and fear that envelop those who have been abused. 

So when a loud attorney in a small California town wantonly insults and besmirches everyone who has experienced sexual violence – not just those who have made allegations against his client – he provides a first hand example of why survivors feel shame, guilt, and fear.

But we are heartened because we know that people like Mr. Humphrey are dwindling out. As sexual assault scandals rock the nation - from the streets of Hollywood to the training rooms of East Lansing to the pews of Buffalo - more Americans are educating themselves about the realities of sexual violence and what they can do to stop it. One of the most critical first steps is learning why survivors take so long to come forward and working to do what we can in our communities to be trauma-informed and to create places where survivors feel empowered to come forward, not ashamed.

We encourage Mr. Humphrey to follow their example and educate himself further. Until he does, we hope he will keep his insults to himself.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 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

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant