Phil Saviano Tells Survivors to Speak Out

Spotlight took home two Oscars for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture, SNAP would like to acknowledge and congratulate them for the wonderful job they did in telling the story of survivors. We also recognize that the mission to end this abuse and to help survivors heal is an ongoing one. One of the survivors from the film, Phil Saviano, speaks about this fight in the following video, and he acknowledges there are still people that are keeping their abuse a secret, afraid to speak out.


In this 7 minute video clip from the 2015 SNAP Annual Conference in Washington D.C., Boston SNAP Leader Phil Saviano, who was portrayed in the film by actor Neil Huff, details on how he found out that the priest that abused him had also went on to abuse many other children. Up until seeing a Boston Globe article about the priest that had abused him, had allegedly abused two other children in Arizona, he had been silent about his abuse. His message is that when he spoke out about this priest, one act that he thought would be small and insignificant,  it turned out to spark a big reaction nationwide as survivors all began to speak out against his same abuser. 

In his 60 sec clip from the 2015 SNAP Annual Conference in Washington D.C. Phil wraps up his speech with a powerful message for people who are still keeping their abuse a secret. 

If you are interested in learning more information about the 2016 conference where you will hear powerful messages like this: click here


Showing 6 comments

  • Sas SAs
    followed this page 2023-09-05 17:55:39 -0500
  • Pamela Hirsch
    commented 2017-04-03 03:43:01 -0500
    I was on leave from training as a Postulant [step before novice] in Missionary of Charity of Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s nun’s order in Rome to put my mother who had got paralysed into a home and return to Rome continue my vocation. Father Forsythe in South Belfast Catholic church I attended while looking after my mother, asked me to pray for a girl whose period had not come and who was from what he called a ‘good family’ to pray for her not to be pregnant. Some days after he told me her period had come and thanked me. he asked me to his house. I thought he would have a housekeeper. When I got there he was alone. He had a calendar on the wall with girls in swimsuits and was playing pop music on a music centre. He said pop music was a love-song to God. He said ,‘Pamela, I need sex’. I was horrified, as I had been in the convent for a year and a half and wasn’t used to worldly people like Father Forsythe. I quickly went out to the off-licence round the corner from his house and bought a can of beer. I came back and gave it to him and said ‘Drink this instead’. He said ‘thanks Pamela’. Then I went out. As I was leaving I met a woman coming in. I said to her, ‘I wouldn’t go in there if I were you. He wants sex.’ She said that’s OK. Then she told me that he and possibly other priests had notebooks with the names of women they could call on. I found it difficult to take this all in and left. I did not report Father Forsythe as he had asked me and had accepted my refusal. I compared this with the experiences of other family members who I heard had just been manhandled without the priest or monk asking first. On the other hand I wondered how I could go to this priest for confession. ‘Forgive me father, for I have sinned’. it made no sense. So I left the Church and attended Evangelical churches. I didn’t return to the convent.
  • James Barrett
    commented 2016-03-01 10:47:09 -0600
    We can do together what we cannot do alone. We have the power to protect kids and affect legislative change to expose those who failed to protect the vulnerable among us. Thank you, Phil; thank you, SNAP!
  • @ tweeted this page. 2016-02-29 15:54:43 -0600
  • Pamela Hirsch
    commented 2016-02-29 15:51:34 -0600
    HC Communication
    Published on 26 May 2014

    While on a course in Northern Ireland, Hanover College student Savanna Wofford talks to Father John Forsythe about community divisions in Belfast and hopes for reconciliation through youth programs like the Ulster Project.

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    Pamela Hirsch
    Pamela Hirsch3 weeks ago
    That’s the priest who asked me for sex
  • Pamela Hirsch
    commented 2016-02-29 15:47:18 -0600

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