FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2012
Washington, DC: The Catholic Church could gain much by working with the victim service organizations that assist survivors of clergy sex abuse.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, provides much-needed support and counseling for those who have suffered unfathomable trauma and need to find ways to heal, recover, and begin to rebuild their lives.
The Church's efforts to hear victims' voices and acknowledge their pain would go a long way toward helping them heal. It would provide survivors comfort and relief to know that the Church recognizes their experience and agrees that what happened to them was wrong. Those simple gestures would greatly assist victims in their recovery.
Instead, recent news reports describe the Church's actions to subpoena documents from SNAP and to interrogate the organization about its members, staff, donors, and operations. This is unfortunate and has a negative impact on survivors who need help most.
We hope that the Catholic Church will refocus its efforts and will begin looking at how to strengthen its service to survivors of child sexual abuse by the clergy.
The National Center for Victims of Crime, established in 1985, is the nation's leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. For more than 25 years, the National Center has led this nation's struggle to provide crime victims with the rights, protections, and services they need to rebuild their lives. For more information, visit www.ncvc.org.