Welcome to new SNAP President, Shaun Dougherty!
For the past ten years, SNAP President Emeritus Tim Lennon has been a dedicated advocate for children and survivors. But all good things must come to an end and Tim's term on the SNAP Board of Directors has formally ended, and the Board has elected SNAP Leader Shaun Dougherty as our new President.
Shaun, a Johnstown, PA native, has been an ardent advocate for statute of limitations reform in New York and Pennsylvania to allow all survivors the justice they deserve. Before serving on SNAP's Board of Directors, Shaun's first trip to Harrisburg, PA, in 2016 inspired him to do more and become involved with SNAP. A survivor of clergy abuse himself, Shaun has spoken on national news about his abuse and the reforms that need to be made. Recently, in an ongoing battle for window legislation in Pennsylvania, it would not be uncommon to find Shaun in the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg shortly after the doors first open. Shaun is looking forward to bringing those same energies to other states with archaic statutes and, more importantly, help promote and represent the interests of survivors across the globe.
Join us for the SNAP Annual Conference this September 10 - 12!
We are once again holding our annual conference virtually on the Showcare platform and we hope you will join us for this three-day event focused on healing, learning, and community.
Just like last year, we'll be using the professional Showcare platform so you'll be able to access all of the conference content from one convenient location. We've got some amazing speakers on deck including psychiatrist Dr. James Jones, international advocate and survivor Doris Reisinger, and of course our longtime friends Tom Doyle and Bishop Accountability.
Note: for this year's event, we are utilizing a "pay what you can" model. These conferences are expensive to put together, but we also recognize that the pandemic may have made a dent in folks' income. If you're interested in attending this year's conference, we hope you'll purchase a ticket at whichever level you are most able to make work for you. If you have any questions, please contact us.
We asked our supporters, "why does SNAP matter to you?" Here's the answer that Tom gave us.
This profile was written by Patrick Price of SNAP to honor our courageous and dedicated supporters and donors.
Around the age of seven, and a few months before his First Communion, Tom was being sexually abused on a weekly basis by clergy members at his local Catholic church during Sunday School. This persisted from the Spring until Summer break, and then recommenced when school started in the Fall. Eventually, on Sundays, he would just leave home pretending to go to Sunday School so he would not be further abused.
Unfortunately, Tom’s mother was complicit in her son’s abuse. For example, his mother took him to a pool party hosted by church clergy members where he was gang assaulted and forced into child pornography. On his ninth birthday, he attended a roller hockey gathering at the local church, where once more he was sexually assaulted. Since he had no family support in confronting these molestations, Tom wisely never went to church again.
After a long history of depression, shame and self-isolation, four years ago Tom sought the guidance of a therapist to help him begin his healing journey. She connected him with a few organizations that address childhood sexual abuse, one of which was SNAP. Through SNAP’s website, Tom made the discovery that he was not alone when it came to clergy sexual abuse, which gave him the courage to seek support from “the good people” at SNAP, who, along with his therapist, helped him to create a healing path to self-care and self-compassion. It was like moving from “darkness to dawn,” Tom claims.
Today, he uses meditation as a primary healing tool and has become more socially active “making up for lost time.” He has participated in SNAP’s annual conference and the March 2021 mini-conference on “Trauma & Resilience.” By learning more about sexual abuse issues and survivor support, Tom serves as a compassionate voice for others.
Tom has also become more charitably active and is a regular donor to SNAP so that others who have gone through the horrible reality of sexual abuse by religious authorities can find the glimmer of hope he has found. His charitable gifts are one way Tom believes he can spread the message of courage to survive and provide support to others seeking their own healing journeys.
Recordings Still Available from June Mini-Conference.
Recordings of each session from our June mini-conference are now available to watch! In case you missed any of the sessions from our June conference, you can click the links below to catch up:
- Jennifer Storm - From Survivor to Advocate
- Nancy Hill - Heart Focused Meditation
- Jeff Dion - About the Zero Abuse Project
Help Keep Kids Safe Make a Difference
SNAP is proud to be a member of the Steering Group for Keep Kids Safe, a powerful coalition of organizations dedicated to making the world a safer and healthier place for children.
SNAP Leaders in the News
- Outgoing SNAP President Tim Lennon received a nice write-up in RadioIowa.
- SNAP Leaders Mary McHale and Mike McDonnell spoke to PBS about Pope Francis for "In Their Own Words."
- SNAP advocates in San Antonio are pushing for local Catholic leaders to update their list to include more religious order priests.
- After decades of advocacy, Colorado legislators have cleared the way for survivors to have their day in court, something that SNAP CO leader Jeb Barrett has worked towards for a long time.