A grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania has made headlines. Factual information detailing child abuse, that was hidden from the authorities for decades, is available for all to read. As a result, the need to reform laws has gained momentum in PA. https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/report/
SCAARS will be joining SNAP in seeking similar grand jury investigation throughout the U.S. When the scope of the problem is seen as a public safety issue, our culture can begin to change. Toleration for covering over abuse will end. Reporting abuse will be demanded. http://www.snapnetwork.org/abuse_victims_want_statewide_ag_probe_of_california_catholic_church
SCAARS has done an investigation of its own. We call it a “Citizen’s Grand Jury”: By searching public records and the media, a list of abusers in California has been put together. We believe this information will demonstrate why our laws need adjustments. Viewing the details exposes the failures of a child abuse policy, emphasizes the suffering of the abuse victim, the need to help victims transform into a survivor, and finally become a thriving individual. Reporting abuse to authorities is the best way to start the healing process and prevent further abuses.
Instructions on how to do a Citizen’s Grand Jury Report In Your State
Note that SNAP, above, has focused on sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests. The example here focuses on Jehovah’s Witnesses, not due to any particular bias. We are concerned about child abuse in any institution.
The first thing you must decide is what you are searching for. Write down a list of key words of who, what and where you are searching for. For example, in the search for SCAARS, we were putting together a list of all the Jehovah’s Witnesses in California that have been convicted of child abuse or violent crimes involving abuse.
- Who – Jehovah’s Witnesses, JW, JW.org, Watchtower
- What- Sex abuse; child abuse; arrest, police, conviction
- Where- California, CA
Since there are many activist, non-profit organizations (.org) already involved in exposing religious abuse, we decided to locate those websites first and use their information and research as a beginning.
The initial search went like this: “Jehovah’s Witnesses” + arrest + abuse
This brought up several key websites:
From there we were able to search within the websites for “california” or “ca”.
An example of a quick way to search within a website is to put a line like the following into the Google (or Bing) search engine:
site: http://www.watchtowerdocuments.org + california
—–> To specifically look for names in California search:
”Jehovah’s Witnesses” + arrest + abuse + California + .org
Here are two websites that were very extremely helpful:
For JW’s there is: http://findfrederick.com/jw-pedophile-map/
Zooming into the state of California, we found many names often with a link to the newspaper article that verified the story.
Tip: Currently they have JW abusers indicated in half the United States.
http://jwdivorces.bravehost.com had many stories of Jehovah’s Witnesses abuse and sexual assault. The negative to this site was that often references were missing, but the name of the court case was often listed. From here we can google the court case name for further information and a court case number.
Tip: Sometimes a copy of the court transcript is online as a PDF of the file. Search example:
Timothy Lopez v. Watchtower Society or Timothy Lopez Watchtower .pdf
Once we located a name of a possible perpetrator, we can begin to verify the information and conviction easily with an additional search.
To verify the story, we are looking preferably from a government (.gov) website or The United States requires law enforcement authorities make information available to the public regarding registered sex offenders. For your state, Google, for example:
”Sex offenders Registration” + Colorado.
In California the website is: www.meganslaw.ca.gov. With a name search you will see a photo, vital statistics of the perpetrator as well as the crimes convicted and possible release date.
Another way you can verify if someone convicted is by doing an inmate search within the state. For example in California the website is: https://inmatelocator.cdcr.ca.gov
Hint: SNAP (Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests) is the largest support group of those wounded by religious authorities. http://www.snapnetwork.org
List of helpful links is: http://www.snapnetwork.org/helpful_links/links_list.htm
Using the methods described above, we were able to produce a spreadsheet of names and details. A sample of that spreadsheet is linked here:
Additional examples of this same idea in action can be seen below, and are also posted in the NEWS section:
Clergy Abuse [from California’s Office of the Attorney General]
In light of the news surrounding the sexual abuse of children by members of clergy or religious organizations across the country, the Department of Justice is gathering information from the public regarding complaints of this nature in California.
Source: Clergy Abuse
New Report Lists 263 Bay Area Priests Accused Of Sexual Abuse
A law firm suing California bishops for the records of priests accused of sexual abuse released its own report Tuesday listing more than 200 clergy in the San Francisco Bay Area it says are accused of misconduct.