OR--New suit says Jehovah's Witnesses hid abuse

For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 1

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

We applaud the brave San Diego woman who is suing Jehovah’s Witness officials in Oregon for acting recklessly, callously and deceitfully about a predator in the church.


Velicia Alston is a hero for seeking justice against a Hillsboro Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation. Her courage will help prevent more child sex crimes and cover ups in this incredibly irresponsible and secretive religious group.

For decades, Jehovah’s Witness officials have silenced victims, witnesses and whistleblowers by threatening to “disfellowship” them. This must stop. Caring adults welcome reports of suspected abuse. Heartless adults discourage such reports.

We hope that every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes or cover ups in Jehovah’s Witness congregations finds the strength, like Velicia has, to do what our civil and moral duty requires – use the justice system to expose wrongdoers, protect kids, deter crimes and start healing.

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

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