Second victim speaks out publicly in the case of Fr. David Huneck; SNAP applauds her bravery
Yesterday the second victim of Fr. David Huneck also spoke out publicly. We admire the bravery and courage it took for her to come forward. We hope that these two teens know that in reporting what they experienced with Fr. Huneck, they may have helped to save others from a similar fate. Hopefully, both of these brave survivors are getting all the help they need to heal. We are confident that others will hear them and also find the strength to disclose their own suffering to family, friends, law enforcement, or groups like ours.
It can be extremely difficult for survivors to come forward and talk about their abuse, especially if their perpetrator is a trusted religious authority figure. It is even more difficult to come forward at a young age. The average age for a survivor to disclose their abuse is 52.
In a statement to WANE-15 news outlet in Indiana, the second survivor said “this road has not been easy. I have been on a roller coaster of emotions. I am hurt, embarrassed, confused, and sad to have lost a trusted role model. Most importantly, I am relieved to finally be speaking up. I am ready to be a light to all girls affected by abuse. I want to help, just like I have been helped. I want victims to know that there is a light, even though it may not seem like it now.”
We feel it is important for all victims who have suffered through the horror of abuse to know that these feelings are completely understandable, and we empathize with them. Those who have suffered sexual assault by trusted figures in their life, especially at the hands of clergy, suffer from many challenges that can last a lifetime. Some survivors even refer to such assaults as ‘soul murder.’ The most important part of the journey and the biggest first step is speaking out. The two girls in this case are ahead of the curve by many years and we know their story will inspire others.
CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager, (267-261-0578, [email protected]) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected]), Melanie Sakoda, Survivor Support Coordinator (925-708-6175, [email protected]) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President, (814-341-8386, [email protected])
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is www.snapnetwork.org)