National- Clergy victims 'mixed' about politicians on campus rape

For immediate release: Friday, May 2, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003,

We are glad that Washington politicians are dealing with sexual violence on campuses and in the military. (And we are deeply impressed by and grateful for the brave victims who are fighting hard to prevent more sexual violence in these two arenas.) At the same time, however, we are sad that Washington politicians have largely ignored clergy sex crimes and cover ups.

For almost 30 years, the Catholic Church’s horrific and on-going clergy sexual abuse and cover up crisis has made national headlines. More than a dozen years ago, the scandal reached epic proportions. 

Yet not a single official in Congress or the White House even called for a mild move like hearings on Capitol Hill. Not even one meaningless resolution was passed. A baseball steroid scandal prompted far more action and attention in Washington than the church hierarchy’s reckless, callous and deceitful handling of tens of thousands of clergy sex abuse reports against at least 6,200 U.S child molesting Catholic clerics. 

A few athletes taking pills and injections generated more outrage among politicians than tens of thousands of kids getting raped and sodomized by priests and tens of thousands of crimes getting concealed by bishops. 

We applaud every single victim, witness and whistleblower who is speaking up about the outrageous sexual violence at colleges and in the military. Their courage and tenacity - especially in the face of hide-bound traditions, secretive cultures, powerful officials and widespread indifference – is heroic. And it's painfully familiar.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 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 

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,, Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell,

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  • Angela Rose Guerra
    commented 2014-05-06 17:49:18 -0500
    This so horrible!.. Most victims live in fear of incidents like this. People who are raped have nightmares, panic attacks, waves of self-doubt, an overwhelming sense of distrust. The lives of victims who are raped are forever changed. I just want to share this website to you guys, it is really helpful with this matter. try to check this out
  • Jonathan Hinck
    commented 2014-05-05 14:29:08 -0500
    Not too long ago President Obama went abroad to meet with the Pope. If there had been people protesting this near the White House (“Obama doesn’t care about child rape”), it might have been more difficult for him to throw this issue under the bus. It might have even prompted action or, at least, comment.
  • Lani Halter
    commented 2014-05-02 19:34:14 -0500
    Thank you for this well written response that seems to me to be on behalf of all SNAP members. I think it is important, to point out everything that you have stated in this post, In particular I was struck by the shocking clarity of this sentence in the first paragraph:
    “At the same time, however, we are sad that Washington politicians have largely ignored clergy sex crimes and cover ups.”
    I was sad when I saw on the evening news, the President in photos (what seemed to me, like him grinning, ear to ear, and “cow-towing”) to the new pope, when he went there recently. And, I was sad learning that the president apparently did not comment on the clergy sex abuse scandal here in America, to the pope, at all?! I was truly sorry when Time Magazine named pope francis “Man of the Year”…
    Obviously, we have to stay vocal. We have to continue the “fight”. These heinous crimes occuring within the catholic church, HAVE TO BE STOPPED.
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