The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Victim to speak to National Guard
Man molested by cleric to discuss sexual violence
The Minnesota head of a Chicago-based international support group will speak tomorrow to members of the Minnesota National Guard about male on male sexual violence.
Bob Schwiderski of the self-help organization SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), has been asked to assist the Minnesota National Guard by speaking about male-on-male sexual trauma with the officials and members of the Victim Advocate program of the Minnesota Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program (SAPR). The event is tomorrow, Thursday, at 2:45 PM. at the 133rd Airlift Wing, 631 Minuteman Dr. St. Paul, MN.
The purpose of the Minnesota National Guard's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program (SAPR) is to reinforce the commitment of the Department of Defense in eliminating incidents of sexual assault within the military through a comprehensive policy that centers on awareness, prevention, training, education, and victim advocacy for not only Service Members, but their families as well.
Schwiderski, an Army veteran, has been asked to share his perspectives on “coming forward” to report abuse, fears, shame and confusions males experience from sexual assaults, and other dynamics and issues of comprised “masculinity.”
“Bob is a hero to many victims in Minnesota and elsewhere who have, over the years, reached out to him in times of real suffering and found a big heart, sympathetic ears, warm comfort and sound guidance,” said David Clohessy, director of SNAP. “We’re grateful to the Minnesota National Guard for giving him this opportunity and are convinced his experience and insight will be helpful to Guard members.”
“If kids are to be safer, those who suffered sex crimes must speak up like Bob has and does,” said Barbara Blaine, SNAP’s president. “When victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers stay silent, nothing changes and kids get assaulted. But when victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers speak up, at least there’s a chance for prevention, healing, and justice.
Schwiderski was invited to present to the group by SMSgt Kelly J. Wilkinson, Minnesota National Guard, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, 651-282-4078
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 23 years and have more than 10,000 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)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests