Friday, April 26, 2013

SNAP: Victims of clergy sexual abuse announce first global conference on institutional, April 2013

Victims announce first global conference on institutional, clergy sexual abuse

Survivors event is first-of-its kind

Speakers include leaders in prevention, research, healing and advocacy

Accountability and world-wide networking also goals of three-day event

Scholarships available for survivors unable to pay

In a first-of-its-kind event, survivors of sexual abuse will meet in Dublin for a world conference on institutional, clergy and sexual abuse.

The three-day conference, Friday, April 26 to Sunday, April 28, 2013, is sponsored by SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (, the world's largest support group for men and women abused in religious and institutional settings. They currently have members in 67countries. 

The weekend is dedicated to people who have experienced sexual and institutional violence, their loved ones, and supporters from around the world. SNAP is also reaching out to other nonprofit and governmental organizations across Europe that are dedicated to helping victims and preventing violence. The goal is to create a strong global network of cooperation in preventing and exposing violence and holding predators and enablers accountable.
Registered attendees include survivors from Australia, North and South America, Europe and Africa.
Conference speakers are experts on clergy sex abuse, institutional abuse, legal issues, emotional and physical trauma healing and more, including: (All speakers are available for pre-conference interviews):
Colm O'Gorman
Colm O’Gorman is Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, he has held this position since February 2007. He previously worked as a psychotherapist and was the founder and former Director of One in Four, the national non-governmental organisation that supports women and men who have experienced sexual violence. In this role Colm was instrumental in the establishment of the Ferns Inquiry, the first state investigation into clerical sexual abuse. 
Maeve Lewis
Executive Director of One in Four, a Dublin-based non-government organisation that provides counselling and advocacy services to men and women who have been sexually abused in childhood and offers a treatment programme for sex offenders.  
Sandra Fernau
Sandra Fernau is a Sociologist from Wiesbaden, Germany. She studied Sociology at the Goethe-University of Frankfurt on the Main. Minor fields of study: Social Psychology, Psychoanalysis and Political Science. With a focus on the staging of 9/11 terrorist attacks in American cinema: A depth hermeneutic analysis of the film 'World Trade Center.' She is currently a scholarship holder at the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony where she works with Dr. Christian Pfeiffer. Their current project is “The sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests, deacons  and male members of religious orders in the German Bishops' Conference.”
Patsy McGarry
Journalist and Religious Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times since 1997, Patsy McGarry has written many articles on the clergy sexual abuse scandal. It is because of journalists like Patsy that the lid was blown off Irish clergy abuse and cover-ups. He is a seasoned journalist having reporting for Magill magazine, the Irish Press, the Irish Independent, and Sunday Independent. He has authored three books, the most recent being a biography of former President Mary McAleese (2008). 
Tom Doyle
Tom Doyle is a Dominican priest. He holds a doctorate in Canon Law and five separate master's degrees. Tom served at the Vatican Embassy between 1981 and 1986 and while there he became directly involved with the clergy sex abuse case of former Fr. Gilbert Gauthe that received national publicity. After leaving the embassy he joined the U.S Air Force and served as a chaplain for almost 19 years. Tom worked with Ray Mouton and the late Fr. Michael Peterson, M.D., to compose the report on the problem of sexual abuse by clergy that served as the notice to the Vatican and to the U.S. bishops about the grave nature of the sexual abuse by clergy.
Other speakers include Pam Spees from the U.S. Center for Constitutional RightsIrish adoption activist Mari SteedChilean survivor Juan Carlos CruzTerence McKiernan and Anne Barrett Doyle from Bishop Accountability; former U.S. priest and "fixer" Patrick Wall; and Italian Papal biographer Marco Politi

The weekend will be divided into large group presentations and smaller break-out sessions on a variety of relevant issues. Confidential support group sessions for men and for women will also be available. A full schedule can be viewed at: .

On Saturday evening Mannix Flynn will perform his play James X at the hotel at 7:30. All are welcome.
Members of the public are invited to attend the three-day event. Scholarships are available for those unable to pay. All money collected will be used to offset the cost of the conference, which is NOT sponsored by any government, church or foundation. 
SNAP World Conference will take place at the Camden Court Hotel, Lower Camden Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. 
For more information, registration, or to inquire about scholarships, 
For interview requests, please contact
Mannix Flynn at +35 3 087 224 6664
Barb Dorris at +1 314-503-0003