PA--Victims to hold support group in Altoona

For immediate release: Friday, March 4, 2016

For more information: Judy Jones, 636-433-2511, SNAP[email protected], David Clohessy 314 566 9790[email protected]

Support group to be held to clergy abuse victims

A self-help group for men and women who were abused by clergy will hold a confidential support meeting in the Altoona area next week.

The organization is SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. The meeting will be Tuesday, Tuesday, March 8th from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Antis Public Library, 526 Main Street in Bellwood (just north of Altoona, PA).

“Victims, family members, and supporters are welcome and encouraged to attend,” said Fran Sambler, SNAP’s Pittsburgh leader. “The grand jury report has understandably stirred up lots of emotion throughout the state. We are creating a safe, private, confidential setting to help anyone who has been abused as a child or exploited as an adult.”

Sometimes, SNAP is perceived as an “activist” group, said Judy Jones of SNAP. “But the bulk of what we do is to just listen and offer consolation – quietly and privately - to people who are in pain.”

Despite the word "priest" in its name, SNAP welcomes and tries to help "anyone who has been hurt in institutional settings by predators, Jones said.

"Whether you or your loved ones were sexually victimized in summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, or wherever, it's beneficial to talk with and get solace and comfort from those who have suffered in similar settings," she said.

Based in Chicago, SNAP was founded in 1988 and now has nearly 30,000 members across the US and increasingly across the world.

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