Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Please Forward this message to everyone you know!

From: The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter

The following is from our friends at SNAP. They need people of all faiths to show up. Remember
"Pedophilla has NO Religion"

We need you!

We are asking everyone to help here! We are writing about events in Colorado, but they hold implications for all 50 states.

This is a great opportunity to keep kids safe and allow victims to expose predators!


The President of the Senate of Colorado is sponsoring legislation that gives victims of child sex abuse a two-year window to expose their predators. California is the only state that has allowed such legislation and we know that it proved to be a huge success.

Now, more than ever, we need you to help.
We need you to attend the hearing in Denver. If you are willing to testify, all the better!


Monday, Feb 13.

9:30 a.m. SNAP Preparation Meeting (to get ready for press event and Hearing and answer questions for those who have not done anything like this before)

11:30 a.m. Press Event (time subject to change here – this event is being sponsored by the Senate President and we are attending to lend support) If possible bring enlarged child-hood photos and/or signs.

1:30 p.m. This hearing will last several hours. (It is possible that it could last until midnight.) Please plan to stay for the entire evening.

The hearing will be held before the Senate State Affairs Committee Meeting which will be held in the Colorado Capitol in downtown Denver.

The preparation meeting will be very close to the Capitol (within walking distance) and the press event will be held on the steps of the Capitol (exact location to be announced.)

What should I bring?

Bring a large photo of you from when you were a child. If you have time, get the photo enlarged (Kinkos or copy places may be able to do this for you at a reasonable cost.) If you are a family member bring a photo of the victim from your family (only if the victim is agreeable). If you have a photo of the victim with the priest (and you can stomach it) consider getting the photo blown up and bringing that, too. If you can attend the press event please note that the event will most likely take place outdoors. Pay attention to the weather report and dress accordingly. If you will attend the Hearing, bring a sandwich or snacks as there won’t be a break to go out for dinner.

Additional info:
Frequently survivors and supporters say: “Let me know if there is anything I can do to help out.” This is something you can do. We need your help and support right now, today. Everyone can help even if you can’t get to Denver! Please see the suggestions below and do all you can to help.

List of ways you can help:
1. Come to the Colorado Capitol on Mon Feb 13 to be counted in support of Senate Bill 06-143. If you can, be there by 9:30 a.m. (for preparation and press event)on Mon Feb 13 The State Affairs Committee will hear the bill at 1:30 p.m. (Please note that it is possible that this Hearing will last late into the night – they will allow everyone to testify even if it goes until midnight or later.)

Unfortunately, we are not able to help pay for travel expenses but if you want help looking for a someone to share a room, or for less expensive hotels please send an email to Barbara Dorris at

2. Bring your parents, and/or your spouse. Bring your adult children, friends, in-laws and neighbors. If someone owes you a favor, this is the time to cash in and get them to come to Denver next Monday.

3. Offer to let someone else ride with you. There are several folks from most corners of Colorado, and nearby places, who will come if they can get a ride. If you have space in your car, please let us know so the others get a ride. If you have time and are willing to drive to a neighboring town to pick up someone else, even if it’s out of the way, please let us know so we can get more folks there.

4. Contact everyone you know who lives in or near Colorado and ask them to go to the Colorado Capitol in Denver on Monday. Explain that even though you know they are busy, this is a real opportunity to change the course of history in Colorado and the nation. This is a chance to put the interests of innocent children ahead of child molesters. This is the opportunity to expose dozens of sexual predators living and working in Colorado where most of their neighbors and bosses don’t know their history of abusing children.

We know we are asking a lot!

We know that we are asking you to travel to Denver with short notice and we know that it can be expensive. Realizing that it may cause hardships we are asking anyway. Success in changing this law could mean some innocent child won’t get abused. Knowing that our actions may keep someone safe inspires us to go the extra mile and make the sacrifice to get to Denver. Know that if you get to Denver on Monday your presence makes a big difference!

Rosa Parks was just one person – one who made a difference, You can too!

Just last year our nation mourned the death of Rosa Parks. She didn’t speak out and she didn’t perceive herself as a leader. What she did do was to simply be counted. She was an African-American who sat on the city bus in a seat reserved for white people. When the bus driver asked her to stand to allow a white man to be seated she said, “No.”

She was counted as someone who knew that it was wrong to treat African-Americans as second-class citizens. We know it is wrong to treat innocent children as second-class citizens.

Who should go to Denver?

• We hope to have at least one victim of every perpetrator who has worked in Colorado or abused a child in Colorado. Some perpetrators have worked in more than one state. If your perpetrator worked in Colorado, went to school in Colorado, grew up in Colorado, or has any connection to Colorado please get to Denver, even if he didn’t abuse you in Colorado.

• We hope to have as many victims, family members and supporters from Colorado as possible. We’d like to have everyone listed on the SNAP list who lives in Colorado, or has any connection to Colorado to be in Denver next Mon, Feb 13.

If you are coming please let us know!

It will be great if you are able to get to Denver! It will be even better if we can count you in the number of folks coming. We will be notifying the media to tell them that we are coming to Denver. Numbers impress both the media and the legislators. Both respond to sheer numbers. So let us know that you are coming so we can count you in the number!

I don’t want others to know I was abused.

Every one of us who has been abused is a sex-crime victim. We all have the right to keep our identities anonymous. No one will know that you are a victim unless you tell.

There will be a large number of supporters and those who care about protecting children who will be present. You can be counted as a supporter or friend of victims. Some of those coming to support us are therapists, teachers, police officers, prosecutors and others. Please know that if you come as a supporter you will not be alone.

I want to help but I don’t want to speak.

Please know that you don’t have to speak. You don’t have to say anything. Listening is a gift, too. You will be counted as someone who cares and supports the Bill even if you don’t say a word. .

Since the Catholic church has already used their influence to say that the legislation is anti-catholic do we even have any chance of success in Colorado?

Yes! We have great odds of winning. But the Catholic church already made announcements last Sunday at many parishes across the State asking Catholics to lobby against the bill and hundreds are writing letters and calling legislators. But the legislators are interested in hearing from the victims. That is why we need you in Denver. We need to show that it is popular to vote for protecting kids in Colorado. What will make the difference is the number of people we can get to Denver on Monday. We can still get all the votes we need. Legislators need to know that this bill impacts dozens and hundreds of folks in Colorado. We can’t be a small group on Monday. What will make the difference is getting people to Denver to show strong support. We need as many people to be there as possible.

Why is this hearing so significant?
This is the first time that victims are being permitted to speak in the Senate. We are extremely fortunate that the bill is being sponsored by the President of the Senate. Senator Joan Fitz-Gerald is championing this cause. She believes it is best to expose the predators out there who still pose a risk to kids today in Colorado. She is willing to use her influence on this important issue because she wants to protect the innocent children.

During this first hearing in the Senate we will be able to move the hearts of legislators. Most have not yet had the chance to hear from survivors but they will do so on Monday. Most likely the committee will take a vote the same day before the hearing ends.

Once the bill gets passed in the Committee it will go before the entire Senate for a vote, hopefully within days of the Monday Hearing. If we are successful there the bill will then pass to the House of Representatives. During these early days of the life of the bill we can set the record straight and show that most average citizens in Colorado support SB 06-143 because they all want to keep children safe.

Senate Bill 06-143 will allow protecting kids to come first. We all know that our opposition is more interested in protecting the reputation of child molesters and the image of the church than in keeping kids safe.

Please do all you can to get yourself (and as many others as possible) to Denver on Monday.

If you can’t get to Denver but still want to help, please write a letter. Address the letter to:
Senator Joan Fitz-Gerald and Members of the Colorado Senate, 200 E. Colfax, Denver, CO 80203 or email to:
joan.fitzgerald.senate@state.co.us Thank her for sponsoring the bill to protect Colorado’s children and tell her you support the bill. Ask her to copy your letter for all the Senators to ask them all to vote in support of SB 06-143.

If there is any question or concern please let us know. If you have a suggestion or strategy that can help us get more folks to Denver please let us know!

We appreciate all your help and support!

Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747
Troy Gray 970 376 2753
Jeb Barrett 720 222 2412
Joelle Castiex 949 322 7434
Barbara Dorris 312 455 1499

David Clohessy 314-566-9790


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