The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, established in 1989, is the oldest and most active support group of survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their supporters in the United States. The group is a non-profit support and advocacy group composed of and providing services to victims of clergy sexual abuse.
SNAP is an independent, 501(c) 3 non-profit organization with no connections to any church. Barbara Blaine, a victim of sex abuse by a priest, is the founder and president. As of 2007, SNAP had over 4,500 members in 55 active chapters. It has branches for religious groups, such as SNAP Baptist, SNAP Orthodox, and SNAP Presbyterian, for non-religious groups (boy scouts, families), and for geographic regions, e.g., SNAP Australia and SNAP Germany.
The organization of SNAP has a three-fold purpose
- To provide self-help support to survivors.
- To share resources and information.
- To organize for political action to put a stop to the problem of clergy sexual misconduct.
In 2009 SNAP supported a legislative bill in New York that would push Catholic Church dioceses to disclose the names of all clergy who have been transferred or retired due to "credible allegations" of abuse.
In 2002, SNAP advocated for a bill in California that lifted the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases. The bill was drafted by Laurence E. Drivon, a lawyer who had represented 320 plaintiffs in clergy abuse cases and who had contributed to SNAP. The lifting of the statute of limitations allowed Drivon and other lawyers to file hundreds of new lawsuits.
In 2004, SNAP acknowledged accepting donations from leading attorneys who had represented clients in abuse cases, but maintained that it did not direct clients to these attorneys.
- Catholics have mixed reactions on sex abuse bill
- Daniel Lyons (September 15 2003). "Paid to Picket". Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2003/0915/054.html. Retrieved July 8 2010.
- "The Beaufort Gazette". December 19 2004. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1998&dat=20041219&id=_oQiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=06kFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1129,6782108. Retrieved March 25 2010.