UK- Victims sue church over child sex crimes, SNAP responds

For immediate release: Monday, October 13, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Executive Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790,

Two victims of a now jailed Jehovah’s Witness elder are suing the church for failing to protect them from sexual abuse. We applaud the bravery of these two women and hope their courage inspires others to step forward.

Mark Sewell was an elder of the Jehovah’s Witness in the UK. This summer he was put behind bars for sex crimes. According to the recently filed lawsuit against the Jehovah’s Witness, church officials knew about allegations against Sewell, but did nothing to prevent future abuses. There are allegedly at least 15 other victims of Sewell.

We urge anyone– whether victim, witness or whistleblower – to speak up now and safeguard innocent kids and vulnerable adults by exposing wrongdoers within the church. While Sewell is in jail, his colleagues and superiors allegedly knew of his abuses and covered it up.  

(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 25 years and have more than 20,000 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

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,, Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell,   

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