Dear SNAP Members, Supporters & Friends:
We’re so grateful to so many of you who have responded so positively to our requests for support for efforts in Ohio. Thank you to each of you who responded. Please RSVP. We're three days out, and we just want to check in and see who is coming Thursday to the Statehouse in Columbus. If you're coming, please let us know!
If you plan to testify (either in person orally OR IN WRITING) your testimony should be ready. If it’s not complete here is a suggested outline:
NAME & WHERE YOU LIVE:
Biographical info about you, like how old you are, what type of work you do, whether you have kids or grandkids, if you’re married, if you have obtained degrees, or if you were in the military provide your rank, etc. (This is the stuff that is interesting to legislators b/c it tells them we are regular folks.)
Experience of your (or your family member’s, or your friend’s) abuse including age you were when it happened, how the perpetrator had access to you, altar boy, student in school, attended retreat, etc. Tell what happened and how you felt. For example: He put his hands all over me, down my top and pants, he took his clothes off, I was so frightened and confused. I felt dirty and embarrassed. I had never seen an adult naked before. It was so confusing b/c he was someone that I trusted, etc.
Impact it has had on your (or the victim’s) life. Example: It shattered my innocence. It robbed me of my childhood. It left me hurting so much I would do anything to stop the pain even taking drugs or drinking. It makes it hard for me to trust anyone in a position of authority. I have difficulty relating to my spouse, parents, kids, bosses at work, etc. It left me with post-traumatic stress disorder and now I am not able to work.
When you first told anyone and why you didn’t report it at the time. Or why it took so long. Example: The abuse was so traumatizing that I couldn’t tell anyone. I was so young when he abused me I didn’t know any words to use to describe what happened to me. I was psychologically paralyzed that I couldn’t tell anyone. I just thought it was my fault. He threatened that he would hurt my mom if I told. He threatened that he wouldn’t give us food anymore if I told.
Why you are speaking (and/or writing) today. I am speaking out because I don’t want to see anymore kids hurt like I was. I don’t want another family to go through what our family has. Even though the abuse ended 20 (or 30 etc) years ago, it still haunts me. I want my perpetrator exposed so he can’t hurt anyone else, etc.
End with a request that the legislators vote yes to the window of Senate Bill 17.
Remember: If you can't get to Columbus on Dec 8 but you want to speak out you are permitted to submit written testimony. If you want to do so please try to limit your testimony to one page. As soon as your written testimony is complete, please send it in to us right away to [email protected] and [email protected] We will print it out and submit your testimony with that of many others. We will make 30 copies of each person’s testimony (as required) to submit to the Judiciary Committee.
Remember: Your testimony won't be a part of the "official" record on the SB17 proceedings until you do so. If there is supplemental testimony i.e., points you forgot to verbally make, but want included, you can add them into the written document.
Keep in mind that the only official record is the written record and we have promised the Chair of the House Judiciary that we would follow up and get submitted all the oral testimony submitted in writing. It's really important we follow through.
Additional Supporters & Sponsors
There were 18 Senators who sponsored Senate Bill 17. http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=126_SB_17. At this time we are trying to get additional organizations and groups to sign on. If you have any connections to any group or organization please ask those in charge if the group will sign in as supporting Senate Bill 17.
We have letters of endorsement from the following organizations:
SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)
VOTF (Voice of the Faithful)
OCOSA (Ohio Coalition on Sexual Assault)
Hamilton County Prosecutor
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor
Warren County Prosecutor
Lucas County Prosecutor
If you have contacts with any other organizations that might be inclined to endorse SB17, please contact Claudia Vercellotti at 419 350-9234 or email at [email protected] -- with the contact information etc. We will contact them and ask for a letter of endorsement, given the fact that SB17 will help protect Ohio’s children who are at risk now and will impact all survivors of child sexual assault, not just clerical abuse survivors.
Keep in mind:
Senate Bill 17 passed the Senate unanimously on March 16, 2005. The bill still is pending in the House of Representatives, Judiciary Committee which has 11 members. We need 6 votes to get it out of committee. Then, if the Speaker, Jon Husted allows it, it would go to the Floor of the House for a vote by all members. If that happened it would then be sent to the Governor’s desk for signing.
Where to meet in Columbus:
If you are able to arrive on Wed evening please meet us at the Hyatt from 7 to 9 p.m. Just ask where the SNAP meeting is taking place when you arrive at the hotel.
If you arrive on Thu please meet us in the Capitol in Room 114 (Hayes Room). The Hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. Everyone might not be able to get seats in the room. If necessary they will open the doors to the room next door for everyone else to sit. They do have speakers in the “overflow” room but it is far more interesting to be in the actual Hearing room. Plan to arrive before 9:00 a.m. if you want to get a seat!
1. Are you coming Thursday and can you bring a friend? There is no substitute for the physical presence of people. Your power, whether you utter one single word, is felt in numbers. The more people we bring, the more we send a powerful message that we are not going away and that the two packed rooms on the 22nd of Nov was not a fluke. Please let us know if you are coming!! Please RSVP right away!
2. Are you planning to testify? If so, have you written your testimony? Have you emailed it to Claudia and Christy? If not, can you do so right away?
3. Do you know of any other organizations that might join us? Do you have any personal contacts? Please advise.
4. Do you know of any other people who you could invite to join us on Thursday?
Thanks for everything you do to protect children! Thanks for all that you do to support the SNAP movement and survivors! Know that everyone's participation counts!
Hoping to hear from you soon!
All the best,
Christy Miller – 513-383-2198
Dan Frondorf – 513-706-7403
Claudia Vercellotti – 419-350-9234
Susan – 216-210-1243
Judy Jones – 314-974-5003
David Clohessy – 314-566-9790
Barbara Blaine – 312-399-4747
Child Abuse Victims & Friends, please write to Ohio Legislature by 12/8/05
Dear SNAP Members, Supporters & Friends:
I'll be writing!!!
The same laws that govern clergy reporting by the Catholic Church will have a direct effect on the WTS. That's why the elders are told to Call Legal at Bethel. Whatever progress SNAP can make will benefit abuse victims and survivors of the WTS.
Call Legal, Call Legal, Call Legal
Because the WTS realizes that if they don't and they violate the law, the WTS and the elders will find themselves more and more before the courts