Six Men Come Forward in Camden and Trenton Thanks to NJ’s Window
Six men have come forward and gone public with their allegations of abuse against priests who spent time in the dioceses of Camden and Trenton in New Jersey. These revelations have only been made possible by the window legislation that was passed this year and we hope this story will encourage lawmakers in other states to introduce and pass window legislation of their own.
According to the Courier Post, at least eight clergy or Catholic brothers have been named in lawsuits since the window went into effect on December 1. Each of these survivors had previously been barred by statutes of limitations from bringing information about their abusers and the enablers into the public. We applaud their courage in coming forward publicly because we know that this information will help better protect children and lead to safer communities in New Jersey.
The priests being sued served at multiple parishes in South Jersey towns in including Maple Shade, Collingswood, Magnolia, Florence, Pleasantville, Cherry Hill, and Paulsboro. We call on the leaders of parishes in each of these communities, along with Bishop Dennis Sullivan of Camden and Bishop David O’Connell of Trenton to use every resource at their disposal to publicize this information so that parents and parishioners will be informed, children will be protected, and still-suffering survivors will be encouraged to come forward and get help.
The average age at which a survivor of sexual violence comes forward is 52. Yet too often, archaic statutes of limitations laws prevent those survivors from holding the abusers and their enablers accountable. 2019 was a major year for statute of limitations reform and we hope that this trend will continue in 2020.
The legislation that has allowed these cases to be filed is a critical step towards preventing future cases of abuse and bringing justice for survivors. Lawmakers in every single U.S. state should follow in the footsteps of legislators in New Jersey and take steps to change their own statute of limitations so that their states too can better protect children from sexual abuse.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, [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 SNAPnetwork.org)