A message from SNAPDFW’s facilitator, Lisa Kendzior
Acknowledge your courage
It takes courage to acknowledge that we’ve been abused and it is not easy to even admit it to ourselves. Just browsing this website is a big step.
Know that you are not alone!
If you’ve been victimized by clergy, please know that you are not alone. You can get better. You can reach out to others who’ve been hurt just like you have.
Together, we can heal one another.
A Belgian Catholic Church spokesman said the offices in Hasselt, Mechelen and Antwerp cooperated during the raids and handed over files.
AP reports that a judicial official close to the investigation, who asked not to be identified, said today's surprise raids were based on some 200 witness accounts and 87 civil claims and sought to reveal if high-level clergy were involved in keeping abuse covered up.
Read more in the Fort Wort Star-Telegram here: Belgian authorities raid 3 bishops' offices
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I serve on the Child and Youth Committee and have listened to and read many hours of excruciatingly painful testimony from victims and their families describing the most heinous sexual abuse imaginable. The institutional cover-ups and subsequent ill-treatment of victims have made these terrible situations even worse. It’s a sad day, indeed, when concern for institutional risk management trumps uncovering the truth.
It’s not going to be easy. But, it is up to me and to all elected state officials, regardless of their affiliations, to act with integrity, strength, and righteousness — right now.
It’s time to open the window.
- First, we in state government must encourage — not suppress — the public conversation about the sexual abuse of children.
- Second, state legislators must act to expand the current statute of limitations for child sex abuse.
I recently listened to testimony concerning two perpetrators who were Franciscan Friars and who taught at Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia when I was on the faculty there. As a life-long Catholic, a former parochial school teacher, and a religious education instructor, I am filled with anguish over these incidents.
I am also a proud Penn State alumnus and I still teach at the PSU Abington campus. I believe that Penn State is a jewel in the crown of our great commonwealth. Thus, everything I’ve learned about the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the devastation it has wrought pains me to the core...
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One more year has elapsed. And the Vatican, so quick to become "transparent" in order to get its assets back, still ignores a request to be transparent about its handling of child abuse -- and this time, for the 14th consecutive year.
Today, Kristine Ward of our sister organization the National Survivors Advocacy Coalition (NSAC) has written an editorial on this unconscionable papal negligence titled Yet Another Deadline Passes, Still No Report. Read that editorial below, then read the related links to articles on this website.
- NSAC Editorial: Yet Another Deadline Passes, Still No Report
- Vatican 13 years delinquent in submitting legally required UN report on 'Rights of the Child'
- SNAP petitions international court to investigate the pope and top Vatican officials for possible crimes against humanity
- Amnesty International human rights report lists Vatican for failure to protect children
- Vatican 2010 priorities: protect assets; ignore 'Rights of the Child'
- Moral bankruptcy of Roman hierarchy read into record of United Nations Human Rights Council
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"Sexual abuse of our children is the cancer that lives and walks among us, but a cancer survivor wears their ribbon proudly and we all stand to cheer as they walk by in their annual parade.
But who stands to cheer for the victim of a sexual assault?"
-- Dale Hansen, WFAA Dallas
It has been more than a month now since the sex scandal at Penn State stunned the Happy Valley and changed the lives of so many forever.
Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky has said he's innocent of the charges he faces for sexually abusing so many young kids, but he stood silently by while the Penn State president, the athletic director and the legendary coach Joe Paterno lost their jobs in disgrace.
Is that really the action of an innocent man?
But then, they stood silently by while being told that Sandusky was abusing the children he says he was trying to help.
Nobody's innocent here, and those kids have lost their innocence forever because nobody talks about the abuse of a child.
The victim of a sexual crime is the only victim we don't talk about, and maybe it's time we do.
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Perry’s letter begins by saying: “I don’t know your name, but I know your face. I don’t know your journey, but I know where you are. I am your brother!”
Perry goes on to reveal personal details of his own sexual abuse as a child, and how his voice went unheard when he reached out for help to friends and family.
Perry writes, “The strength that it must have taken for your 11-year-old voice to speak out about such a horrible act is something that I didn’t have the strength or courage to do at your age.” The star calls the boy “my hero.”
The 40 current counts of sexual abuse against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky listed in the grand jury indictment involved boys over a 15-year period who are adults now. Sandusky has maintained his innocence.
Read 'Tyler Perry Writes Open Letter to Alleged Penn State Victim' on the ABC News website ...
Read 'Tyler Perry's Open Letter to Penn State 11-Year-Old' ... on Newsweek's Daily Beast website ...
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A Catholic bishop in Ireland stepped down yesterday just six days before child sex abuse audits into two dioceses where he served are due to published.
Bishop of Derry Seamus Hegarty’s resignation on health grounds was accepted by Pope Benedict a mere two weeks after offering it. He left his post immediately.
Read the full story in the Irish Independent ...
Read 'Bishop quits over health days before abuse audits' ...
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The victims advocacy community -- with all respect that may or may not be due -- would point out to the bishop that the victims of abuse are the ones who have been wounded, raped and sodomized by Catholic priests and attacked by bishops and their high-priced lawyers for years -- a fact dramatized by these very statements.
It is not the Catholic hierarchy that has been victimized. The bishops, like Dolan, in that "community" continue to provide and protect the criminal perpetrators of that abuse. You, Mr. Dolan, and your kind, are not the victims here.
According to victims advocate Kristine Ward of SNAPDFW's sister group, the National Survivors Advocacy Coalition (NSAC), the purpose of Dolan's comments were to opportunistically deflect attention away from his colleagues and underlings in the Roman hierarchy, which systemically perpetuates the environment of abuses, and systematically denies it and shields the guilty.
Once again, SNAPDFW asks the question we've asked so many times before:
Just how outrageous does outrageous have to get!?
Read the Reuters news article "Penn State scandal "opens wound" in Catholic Church" ...
Read Kristine Ward's NSAC Editorial "The Gall of It" ... Read More...
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They collected money for ChildHelp -- a non-profit organization which specializes in the prevention and treatment of child abuse. "A lot of alumni (are) coming by and appreciate what we're doing and they know that this is what the student body is really about," said Penn State University Junior Ian Golden.
"... this is what the student body is really all about ..." - PSU Junior Ian Golden
Golden formed a group on facebook aimed at restoring Penn State pride by uniting students for a singular cause: "Show their support for the victims, really focus all this attention back on the victims and their families," he said.
Read: PSU Students, Fans Show Support of Child Abuse Victims ...
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In the mid '60s, Ward was a student at her alma mater, Penn State when Joe Paterno became football coach. She sees direct parallels between the Penn State disclosures of alleged sexual abuse of children and its coverup, and the Catholic church sex abuse scandal -- with the exception that the Penn State brass, who covered up the allegations from the beginning, have gotten fired while not a single catholic bishop has even been reprimanded, much less fired.
In the meantime, no one is paying attention to the real victims in these tragedies -- the children and the innocents.
Watch the Kristine Ward interview on Ohio News Network ...
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The patterns outlined in the 40-count indictment charging Sandusky are familiar:
- the grooming of vulnerable youth,
- using a trusted position and stature within the community to gain access to children and to fend off suspicion,
- descriptions of fondling and rape of children,
- reports of abuse being minimized,and
- a continued toleration of the abuser within a protective culture.
-- National Catholic Reporter
Read 'Abuse and cover-up: Penn State's Catholic-like scandal' in NCROnline ...
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Boston attorney Carmen Durso, who has represented numerous clergy sex abuse victims, said the Boston and Penn State cases will likely share a lack of proper accountability for the people who allowed accused abusers to work with children years later.
"If you're a powerful person in any regard, the rules are different for you," he said. "That's why Cardinal Law just had his (80th birthday) party in Rome and that's why Joe Paterno is still a hero to people even though he let this go on."
Read 'Paterno fired over Penn St. child abuse scandal' at CBS News ...
Read 'Penn State scandal evokes Boston clergy crisis' at CBS News ...
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