My latest ramblings.
Enjoy! I definitely got important things to say
My latest ramblings.
Enjoy! I definitely got important things to say
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
John Salveson, 215-870-0680, email@example.com
David Shapiro, 484-866-1550, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marci Hamilton, 215-353-8984, email@example.com
Steve Jimenez, 718-483-5670, firstname.lastname@example.org
DEMONSTRATION FOR REVIVAL!!!!
In Support of HB 1947
WHEN: Monday, June 13th, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
WHERE: Pennsylvania Capitol Steps on 3rd Street between Walnut and North Streets, Harrisburg, PA
WHO: Survivors, families, friends, supporters & all people of good will
WHY: JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF CHILD SEX ABUSE… FINALLY
Survivors of child sex abuse will join hands with families, friends, advocates, and an array of organizations from around the state on the steps of the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg on Monday, June 13th – to demonstrate their strong support for HB 1947, which revives expired statutes of limitations for all survivors up to age 50. Demonstrators will be joined by survivors and supporters from New York and New Jersey, who are pressing for statute-of-limitations reform in their home states.
Among the speakers will be MARCI HAMILTON, Resident Senior Scholar in the Fox Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania and Academic Director, CHILD USA; and JOHN SALVESON, clerical sex abuse survivor and President of the Foundation to Abolish Sex Abuse (FACSA). Participating organizations include the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR), Turning Point, NOVA (Network of Victim Assistance), Jewish Community Watch, and FACSA.
According to Hamilton, a renowned expert on child sex abuse statutes-of-limitation and constitutional law, “Pennsylvania has produced more in-depth grand jury reports on serial child predators in trusted organizations than any other state over the last decade. How much more evidence is needed for lawmakers to do the right thing and choose children over pedophiles and the institutions that support them? Children are persons with civil rights who deserve better than this state has delivered so far.”
John Salveson said, “This bill will benefit a majority of child sex abuse victims both retroactively and in the future. Senate leaders should be able to see through the misinformation and half truths being peddled by the PA Catholic Conference and Archdiocese of Philadelphia and support this bill. Their choice is clear and simple –
to protect children and sex abuse survivors or to protect the institutions who for decades have hidden and enabled abusers.”
Joining the above speakers to support justice for child sex abuse victims will be New York survivor and award-winning journalist, STEVE JIMENEZ, and DAVID SHAPIRO, CEO of Jewish Community Watch and former World Champion Martial Artist. In a powerful demonstration of his support for “breaking barriers to protect children from predators,” Shapiro will break over 150 boards on the steps of the Capitol.
“I will break 17 boards for 17-year-olds, 16 boards for 16-year-olds, and so on,” Shapiro said, “to represent all of the ages when children become victims of sexual abuse.” The following day at the state capitol in Albany, New York, Shapiro plans to break another 153 boards to demonstrate support for the Child Victims Act – for a total of 305 boards.
Jimenez, who was sexually abused by a Catholic teaching brother for nearly 4 years and is a tireless advocate for statute-of-limitation reform, added, “It is imperative that survivors join hands and hearts across state borders and any other barriers that exist. Our shared civil-rights mission is to protect children from sexual predators and win justice for those who have wrongfully been denied it.”
For more information: www.sol-reform.com
Pennsylvania State Capitol
Join the armies of survivors and advocates fighting for modest SOL Reform in PA. Most important event for SOL Reform in PA history. HB 1947 is being voted on in Senate Judiciary Committee. Send the message with your presence in Harrisburg to lawmakers that there is only one choice: PA must stop protecting pedophiles over kids.
I was nothing short of shocked when a dear friend of mine sent me a picture of the St. Rose of Lima church bulletin on Saturday. It read, “State Representative Nick Miccarelli voted in favor of House Bill 1947 which states that private institutions can be sued as far as 40 years ago for millions of dollars, while public institutions may not be sued for any crimes committed in the past.” This statement, printed in the church bulletin is patently untrue. The simplicity of this statement leaves out much, but most glaringly, it leaves out the true goal of the bill. I did vote in favor of HB1947 because as I reviewed the legislation, forefront in my mind was justice for the victims, not sympathy for the predators that committed heinous crimes against children or any public or private institution that allowed sexual abuse to continue unaddressed. HB1947 will allow those who have been molested as children to have their day in court.
There is no one, and I mean no one, with any understanding of the law who would claim, “public institutions may not be sued for any crimes committed in the past.” Google “Jerry Sandusky Penn State Lawsuit” if you need to see evidence that public institutions can be sued. What this bill did, was to expand the statute of limitations for claims of child molestation. Put simply, it allows those people who are raped as children, more time to face those who raped them. I was one of 180 Members of the House of Representatives who believe this bill will help victims. We also believe that this bill would let child predators across Pennsylvania know that they will not be free from punishment if they simply run out the clock.
At first, I was shocked that my own parish would print something so misleading without so much as a phone call to me. I myself sat in the pews of Saint Rose two days before the bulletin was brought to my attention by my friend. Lastly, many of my constituents have my cell phone number, and my office number is a 10-second google search away. I would have gladly made myself available to discuss this legislation with Father Canavan, a man I have immense respect for, or anyone else from Saint Rose or any other organization that had concerns regarding the intent of this legislation.
It wasn’t until today that I realized the lies about this bill are being preached at more places than Saint Rose. When I arrived in Harrisburg, I saw Rep. Tom Murt of Montgomery County. Tom is a fellow Iraq War Veteran and possibly the kindest and most mild-mannered person I’ve met since being elected. By the way, Tom goes to a Catholic Church every single day. For the first time in almost 8 years, I saw Tom Murt visibly upset. He told me how his parish, sold the same falsehoods to their parishioners as did Saint Rose with him sitting right in the pews.
Not long after, I saw Rep. Martina White of Philadelphia on the House Floor. Martina had planned to attend several church events. After her vote on behalf of victims, the church disinvited her.
At least a dozen House Members, Republican and Democrat, Catholic and Protestant, related stories of their local Priests spewing these falsehoods from the altar. One of my fellow House Members was told by a clergyman that his support of this legislation was a betrayal of his Catholic faith. Another informed me that he had been personally threatened by a high ranking clergyman in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It became abundantly clear to me that not all of these Priests on their own could have conjured up the mistruths about our efforts to protect victims of child rape. These lies, distortions, bully tactics and downright threats must have come from a coordinated effort by some higher level of the Church.
Does the hierarchy believe that 180 members of the House are out to get the Catholic Church?
Maybe they think that our goal is to attack the Church and to let government entities get off scot-free?
It is incomprehensible that they could believe either of these thoughts to be our true intentions. It is my belief, and I’d venture to say the belief of most if not all of my colleagues, that any institution, public, or private, which engages in a coordinated cover up of child rape, should be held accountable. Perhaps the language of this legislation is not clear enough, and I will certainly advocate to my colleagues that sit in the State Senate to ensure that the final language makes it very clear that we will not tolerate or give quarter to any organization, public or private that has sided with the predator over the victim.
A close friend and a constituent of my district had two pre-teen sons who were molested by a local public school teacher, Edgar Fredrichs, right here in Delaware County in the 1970s. In this case, justice was not swift. The parents notified the local school of the allegations, and no action was taken. The school principal and superintendent thought it best if the ordeal was handled quietly and off the books.
Later Edgar Fredrichs would take a job as the principal of a school in West Virginia, a position he secured in part thanks to a glowing recommendation he received from the school he left after being accused of inappropriate conduct towards children. Again, he took young boys, all elementary school age, camping to violate them and avoid being found out. It wasn’t until he killed a child in 1997, that he was finally brought to justice. A civil suit was brought naming the school district, a ‘public institution’ (such as one which my parish bulletin claims “may not be sued for any crimes committed in the past”) as a defendant. A victim nearly 30 years later, was able to ensure that local public school district was rightly held accountable for their failure to do the right thing when they had the chance. Wrong is wrong, and while justice may not always be as swift as we wish it to be, we must give the victims of child abuse the chance to right the wrongs perpetuated against them. That is why I support this legislation.
To explain why it is necessary that we give child rapists no safe harbor, I could recount heinous crimes that have been perpetrated and covered up in years past by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, but one need only read the grand jury reports presented over the last few years.
To explain why this legislation is still necessary today, one need only read the articles about abuse and cover up in the Diocese of Altoona, not from years ago, but from 2016.
To explain to the citizens of my district that I bear no ill will toward the Church I belong to, is something that I never thought I would have to do.
Frankly, I would much rather be chastised from the altar, than to be damned for not allowing justice to be done.
BROOKLYN – Hundreds of people walked across the Brooklyn Bridge Sunday to raise awareness against sexual abuse against children.
Victims of abuse, survivors, parents, children and other supporters all united at Cadman Plaza Park for the “Walk for a Window.”
The public walk was created by abuse survivor Anna Wagner as a demonstration for children’s civil rights.
Full article: http://brooklyn.news12.com/news/brooklyn-bridge-walk-raises-awareness-against-child-sex-abuse-1.11879886
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 7, 2016
THEY WALK BROOKLYN BRIDGE TO FIX CHILD ABUSE SOL LAWS
Child sex abuse survivors and advocates rally to push New York State Legislature to reform archaic NY’s statute of limitations, expose hidden pedophiles
Hundreds of survivors of childhood sex abuse and their families and friends were joined by advocacy organizations from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania on June 5th to march across the Brooklyn Bridge to demonstrate broad public support for Assemblywoman Margaret Markey’s Child Victims Act.
The Assemblywoman was joined by Senator Brad Hoylman who sponsors the Child Victims Act in the NY State Senate. The bill will eliminate the civil and criminal statute of limitations for child sex abuse crimes. It will also create a one-year civil “window” to get justice for adult survivors of abuse and help expose pedophiles and those who have hidden them.
At a rally on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge after the “Walk for the Window” march, Assemblywoman Markey said: “My sincere thanks to you and all those who continue to speak out on behalf of survivors and children. Your voices and strong support reflected by this march gives me real hope that the Legislature will, at long last, act in 2016 to bring justice to survivors and help protect children by exposing predators who continue to abuse new generations of kids.”
Senator Hoylman, Senate sponsor of the Child Victims Act, said: “For too long, survivors of child sexual abuse have been denied their rightful day in court. I am honored to join survivors, advocates and lawmakers alike in our Walk for a Window. We’re putting Albany on notice that we’re prepared to go the distance to change New York’s woefully inadequate statutes of limitation, open a look-back window for past abuses, and help bring comfort to all survivors.”
According to Professor Marci Hamilton, noted author and national expert on statute of limitations issues, “New York is one of the worst states in the US for child sex abuse victims but excellent for pedophiles and the institutions that cover up for them. Now NY will be the first state where so many survivors, supporters, and organizations join together to march for basic children’s civil rights.”
Survivor and champion speed skater Bridie Farrell, helped organize the event and was emcee at the rally, said: “No one, no community, no religion, no sport, no family is immune to sexual violence, crime, and trauma. Child sexual violence is not a single crime. The resulting paralysis lasts for years and is never forgotten in a lifetime. It is time for Governor Cuomo, Senator Flanagan, and Speaker Hastie to help victims feel freedom and safety, and see to it that pedophiles pay for their crimes. We have only one choice: to protect our children, not predators.”
Survivors Ana Wagner and Chaim Levin, principal organizers of the march, were among the speakers at the rally. Ana Wagner, said: “I will do everything in my power to ensure that other children do not have to go through the sexual abuse that I had to endure for years.” Chaim Levin, added: “These laws have allowed abusers to get off without consequence for too long and it’s time to change. We will not stop until we see these draconian laws changed.”
Peter Brooks of the Horace Mann Action Coalition said, “New York’s short statute of limitations provides a perverse incentive for institutions to cover up abuse, greatly increasing the size and scope of harm. End the SOL to end the incentive for schools to hide crimes going forward. And open a window for justice to identify known abusers still working with children right now.”
When he spoke at the rally, Ron Savage, who had reported he was molested by hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa, was supported by a contingent from Zulu Nation. “This march means… I can finally breathe from keeping the pain locked up in me for decades, from being molested as a young teenager.”
Kathryn Robb, a survivor of family abuse on Long Island, said, “This is a powerful movement in which truth, justice and the safety of children shall see the light of day. The secrets, lies, cover-ups and protection of predators can only exist in a room without Windows. We are called forward by the light of Justice.”
Survivor and award-winning journalist Stephen Jimenez has criticized New York’s Catholic Church officials in New York for continuing to spend vast sums of money lobbying against the Child Victims Act. He said: “During his visit to the US last year, Pope Francis…. promised ‘zealous vigilance’ and ‘accountability for all,’ yet Catholic leaders in New York are betraying that promise by continuing to hide truths that the public has every right to know.”
Michael Polenberg, of Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading victim service provider, said: “It is critically important for survivors to be able to hold their abusers accountable in a court of law. We strongly urge New York’s lawmakers to stand on the side of children and pass this much-needed reform bill without further delay.”
Among the organizations participating in the June 5th event were: National Black Church Initiative, Safe Horizon, National Council of Young Israel, Horace Mann Action Coalition, Jewish Community Watch, Catholic Coalition of Conscience, Voice of the Faithful, CHILD USA, MaleSurvivor, Road to Recovery, Catholic Whistleblowers, Massachusetts Citizens for Children, BishopAccountability.org, SOL-Reform, Parents Against Predators, Kol v’Oz, Uri L’tzedek, United Support Network, Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA), Noble 9 Collective, Voice of Justice-NY, Bridge Advocacy Center, AHEART Foundation, NYS Downstate Crime Victims Coalition, Crime Victims Treatment Center (CVTC), Stop Abuse Campaign, Mental Health Association of New York, NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault, SNAP-NY, SNAP-NJ, Call to Action-Metro NY, Call to Action-Upstate NY..
ORGANIZER & MEDIA CONTACTS: Bridie Farrell, 607-280-6606 , email@example.com; Chaim Levin, 917-932-5394, firstname.lastname@example.org; Ana Wagner, 347-882-3259, email@example.com; Prof. Marci Hamilton, 215-353-8984, Hamilton.Marci@gmail.com; Michael Polenberg, 646-265-7248, michael.polenberg@SafeHorizon.org; Mike Armstrong (Media for Assemblywoman Marge Markey), 917-279-8437, firstname.lastname@example.org; Noah Gardy (Press Secretary, Senator Brad Hoylman), 201-218-6310, email@example.com
# # # #
CAPTION FOR PHOTO:
Assemblywoman Margaret Markey and State Senator Brad Hoylman lead march across Brooklyn Bridge to lower Manhattan rally in support of the Child Victims Act of NY. New York is one of the worst states in all of America for how victims of child sex abuse are treated. The bill would completely eliminate the statute of limitations of these crimes and open a one-year civil window so that adult survivors of abuse can get justice. The reform would also help expose pedophiles who have avoided responsibility for their crimes and hold those who have hidden them accountable. From left are Michael Pollenberg, Safe Horizon; survivor and march organizer Chaim Levin; survivor Steve Jimenez; survivor Kathryn Robb; Assemblywoman Markey; “Spotlight” actor Neal Huff; survivor Philip Saviano, real-life “Spotlight” figure portrayed by Huff; Senator Holylman; hip-hop entertainer Ronald Savage; Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, a CVA co-sponsor; and survivor Ana Wagner, march organizer.