MO--Mizzou should rescind Bill Cosby honor, victims say

For immediate release: Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those abused by Priests (314 566 9790[email protected])

Mizzou officials should revoke Bill Cosby’s honorary degree and apologize for not doing so sooner. We applaud the faculty who are pushing for this simple but crucial move.

By refusing to take action, school officials are making it harder for current victims of campus sex crimes to report their experiences. And they’re rubbing salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of dozens of already-hurt students and alums.

For the healing of the wounded and the protection of the vulnerable, Cosby’s honor should be withdrawn. It serves no purpose now but to heap more pain on those already suffering and discourage them from reporting offenders and getting help.

Recently, several Chicago-area institutions have rescinded or removed honors for ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert. We’re grateful to them for this. It’s a sensitive move. We hope Penn officials will follow their example soon. And we hope Penn students and staff will prod the school’s hierarchy to do this.

Adults have a simple choice: Do we make it easier or harder for victims to report crimes? Honoring wrongdoers makes it harder. And that’s wrong.

(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

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