I have been looking for an organization that could provide information and guidance in helping me deal with this mess. The obvious group is the Survivor’s Network for those Abused by Priests or SNAP. Snap has a pretty comprehensive website with frequent updates on news, legislative updates and events that impact those who have been affected by the actions of clergy who are sexual predators. It is a national website so it has a pretty big reach.
The only issue I have with the SNAP website is that the list of local support groups is not up to date. When I first started to come to terms with what had happened and I did go looking for information on support groups or organizations that were actively working on the problems faced by victims and their families. I checked on the points of contact of those groups within a reasonable driving distance from my home. I live in Southeastern Virginia so I checked on the Hampton Roads and Richmond area support groups. Neither area is active and the points of contact listed do not respond to emails and/or phone messages. There is a group in Northern Virginia that seems to be active, but it is an effort to make it that far north for a monthly meeting.
I would recommend to SNAP that they update their site and QA the points of contact for their regional groups.
One other note, organizations like SNAP rely on donations to keep their efforts alive and keep the heat on the Church to do the right thing. I took the opportunity, as a federal government civilian employee, to donate to SNAP through the Combined Federal Campaign this year. If you support the cause of finding some justice for victims and forcing some accountability on the Bishops who are supporting predator priests, please consider donating to SNAP, Bishop Accountability or The Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse.
If you are a practicing Catholic and you participated in the withholding of donations from your church on 16 November, 2008. Please consider making that donation to one of the organizations that is supporting the victim instead of giving the money to the church to support predatory priests.