Time Magazine names “The Silence Breakers” as 2017 Person of the Year, Victims group responds
For immediate release Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Time Magazine today honored the women who have been speaking up about sexual abuse and harassment as its 2017 Person of the Year.
SNAP, the Survivors Network, commends Time Magazine for this recognition of the powerful #MeToo stories being posted by women across the country and around the world. Their voices are helping to make the world a safer place. As more and more women tell their truths, others will be inspired by their example to come forward, speak up, and get help. If the pressure continues, better avenues of reporting and employer/industry accountability will eventually be implemented.
However, we feel that the Time article left out an important piece of this phenomenon, the #ChurchToo stories. Faith communities are also places where sexual abuse and harassment occur, where the powerful prey on the powerless. Those who speak out face the same fears and encounter the same problems as women in the work force.
In 1988, long before the appearance of hashtags, the late Catholic clergy abuse survivor Barbara Blaine began to reach out to others who had been molested by priests. The organization she founded, SNAP, was instrumental in helping the Boston Globe with its powerful 2002 “Spotlight” series. The newspaper exposed the role of the Boston Archdiocese in protecting clergy who preyed on innocent children.
Our group continues to provides safe places for survivors of abuse in all sorts to institutional settings to come together and heal. We also persist in speaking out to expose abusers and those who protect them and to educate the public.
We hope that those who are posting #MeToo and #ChurchToo stories will continue to speak out, file lawsuits and make police reports. We also hope that they will reach out to groups like SNAP for support and help.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 members. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)