SNAP Slams Latest Intimidation Tactics by Jesuits in New York
In their latest effort to dodge the deluge of lawsuits from survivors of clergy abuse, Jesuit officials are deploying a new tactic that is obviously aimed at scaring victims and witnesses into silence. We hope their tactic is thrown out in court today, and that survivors will be protected as they exercise their legal rights.
The hearing will be held on Tuesday, October 15, 2019, at 3:00 PM EDT, at 111 Centre Street (75 Lafayette Street, between White and Franklin Streets), Courtroom 1227, Judge George Silver presiding.
As lawsuits continue to move forward thanks to New York’s Child Victims Act, church officials from the Jesuit order are demanding that survivors filing lawsuits as Jane or John Doe must instead use their real name publicly.
This is a move designed to be hurtful and scare additional survivors from coming forward. Not every victim is ready to share the details of their abuse with their communities and they should not be prevented from coming forward and filing a lawsuit due to fear of being exposed by the very people who were responsible for the abuse they suffered in the first place.
Church officials have long hidden the name of abusive clerics from public view. In fact, only in the past several months have Jesuit leaders started to post the names of abusers publicly. To us, this move seems to me like a spiteful reaction to having their own veil of secrecy pulled back and seeing their crimes exposed.
Victims of crime deserve to have their privacy and to be in charge of when and where they go public. This should not be something decided by those who perpetrated those crimes or those who protected the perpetrators. We hope that this hurtful and self-serving move by the Jesuits is blocked in court.
CONTACT: Brian Toale, SNAP Manhattan ([email protected], 646-657-9278), Becky Ianni, SNAP Virginia ([email protected], 703-801-6044). Melanie Sakoda, Survivor Support Coordinator ([email protected], 925-708-6175), Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected]etwork.org, 517-974-9009)
(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)