The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
Working Harder in California
STATEMENT by Lee Bashforth of Orange County,
July 3, 2003
"Welcome. We're with SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
We'd like to begin with a moment of silence for Eric, Steven, Christopher, and the unknown other survivors who did not survive, the men and women who were sexually traumatized by clergy and who ended up taking their own lives because of the horrific pain.
Thank you. Now, we'd like to have just one more moment of silence for the children of California, those who are now more vulnerable because of last week's US Supreme Court ruling. Hundreds of child molesters will soon be walking the streets, and hundreds more who should and could have been charged and jailed will not be. We fear for these innocent ones.
In light of the Supreme Court's action, we have two choices. We can retreat into depression, isolation, and hopelessness. Or we can re-dedicate ourselves to our most important mission: trying to make sure that no other child suffers the way we suffered and still suffer.
We in SNAP are choosing action over inaction.
And the headline on our leaflet today says it all. We're choosing to HELP PROTECT KIDS.
Our message today is simple: Now more than ever, all of us need to work harder to protect kids.
Now more than ever, victims must somehow fight the courage and strength
to come forward.
Victims: Please don't give up. You can get better! Many of us really began to heal when we starting working to protect others. We urge you find the strength and courage to report your victimization to law enforcement. Please know that we're a confidential self-help group. We want to support you in your healing!
Moms and dads: call your legislator. Tell him/her to go back to the drawing board and write new laws to make the prosecution of child molelstesr easier.
Police and prosecutors: keep up the good work. We appreciate your dedication in helping to protect children. We know that the Supreme Court ruling is devastating to you too.
Church employees, past and present: look inside your heart, examine
your conscience, hear our pain, save our children. Speak up now. Across
Here in California, we know of one such brave person, a loyal Catholic and dedicated church employee who has taken this step, ended years of silence, and is helping to expose a danger abuser. We applaud this person, and we hope others will be inspired by her courage.
We've lost a battle, an important battle. But we're winning the war. Gradually, California is becoming safer for kids. But kids need and deserve protection now, not later. Now more than ever, please join with us in this effort.
SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (626) 419 2930,
(626) 835-9066 www.snapnetwork.org We are a confidential, independent,
nationwide support group for men and women molested by clergy.
Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests