Some of the "Sidewalk Protesters" in front of the Cathedral in Boston
New Hampshire Protest
Call for Law to resign
Protesting in New Hampshire
We will not be silenced!
More New Hampshire protests
Protesting in Maine
A bumper sticker for New Hampshire
Protests seen around the world!
Donations will be used for signs, banners, buttons, leaflets, and other materials used to promote our cause to hold the bishops accountable and seek justice for the victims.
Sttop was formed in response to the January 2002 revelations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Please read below for more information about who we are and what we do by click here: STTOP
The Year of the Survivor
"[Speaking] is never with fear; of visibility, of the harsh light of scrutiny and
As winter slowly moves into spring we here in Boston are acutely aware that in January 2012, ten years will have passed since survivors of clergy sexual abuse allowed the Boston Globe to print the horror, betrayal and re-victimization they experienced as children, young adults and then once more, as older women and men. In the years that have passed, stories from all over the world erupted with the same theme of church hierarchal betrayal, cover-up and re-victimization. Even as the Archdiocese of Boston and Cardinal O'Malley receive praise by the media we witness their lobbyist work hard and get paid well to insure that the Statute of Limitation on crimes of sexual abuse is not extended for all survivors or all sexual abuse.
Nonetheless, despite the church's best efforts to "move on", clergy sexual abuse and sexual abuse in general is being talked about by more people more often than it was ten years ago. Indeed, there are more people working constantly to bring the meaningful changes to our society that will help to make both our religious and secular communities safer for all our children. We are grateful for all the survivors who found the courage and support to publicly speak about what was done to them. We are grateful that through their speaking our consciousness was raised and we want to help raise the consciousness of all. Therefore, we humbly declare that January 2011 to January 2012 will be "The Year of the Survivor".
Over the coming months individuals and groups are planning to come together to remember, recognize and celebrate these past ten years through events and gathers. As plans are completed they will be posted on this site so please com back often to see if you can participate in any or all of them.
Rosemary, "Our Lady of the Lawn Chair" is recuperating at home after having
Generations protest together
Maybe the bull horns will let you hear us!
The Women Speak!
Protesting with artwork
And the crime is Rape!
Support the repeal of the Statute of Limitations on sex crimes in your area!
We have learned much these past years and we look up to and stand with those who came before and those here now who refuse to be silent!
Working to shatter the silence and end the secrecy
To say it was a difficult time here in Boston would be a huge understatement. Day after day the media was filled with more revelations about the horrors of being sexually abused by someone you were taught was next to God and who you must respect, trust and obey . Day after day victims who had never before told anyone that they had been sexually abused by a priest were coming forward and speaking their truth to those who would listen telling them that the same priest who may have comforted others in sorrow and celebrated with others in joy, was at the same time, sexually abusing them in the rectory, the church or any other place he could find. And finally, when tens of thousands of church documents were released and made public as a result of court orders, the denial of a few good Catholics finally began to disintegrate leaving in its' ashes feelings of betrayal, outrage and sorrow.
It was from those ashes that early in 2002 STTOP was born for the purpose of supporting survivors and demanding responsibility and accountability from the Catholic Church. Since we first came together, STTOP has been one of the lead organizers of countless demonstrations, protests and vigils including Solidarity marches, Red Mass Protests and weekly Sunday protests at various churches and cathedrals throughout the country. Carrying signs calling for resignations, responsibility and accountability initially we were met with anger, threats and reprimands such as when a parishioner scolded us for demonstrating during Lent but quickly disappeared when a survivor responded "...but they raped me during Lent".
In time the initial anger we were first met with began to lessen, especially in those places where we demonstrated often and/or where we carried pictures of adult survivors as children, many of whom were dressed in Holy Communion dresses or suits. Indeed, in time some parishioners would thank us for being there and tell us to keep up the "good work". But of all the reactions and responses we have received over the years none has made what we do more worthwhile than when someone comes to us and quietly tells us that they too had been sexually abused by a priest as a child. Such was the case of an older man, well into his seventies who looked as devout as any Catholic could look leaving Mass. As he walked towards us none of us were quite sure whether he was going to yell, spit or ignore us. As he slowly approached our place on the sidewalk, he began to cry and in seconds was being held as he told us that between the ages of 8 and 10 he too had been sexually abused by a priest and up until this moment, he had never told anyone. More than his tears rained on the sidewalk that day...and I believe more than our spirits received a little additional healing as well.
And so, we continue to demonstrate and demand accountability. It's been awhile since we have used the bullhorns, but our message and philosophy remains loud and clear...strong and consistent. We demand accountability...we demand resignations of corrupt bishops and cardinals...we refuse to allow the sexual abuse of children and adults to be swept into invisibility... we recognize and honor the right of each individual to speak from her/his heart...we will not forget what has, is and will continue to happen unless accountability and meaningful change takes place in both the religious and secular communities. This web site is an extension of our commitment and a record of what we have done, what we are doing and what actions are being planned. We hope that you will click on the links and that you find the resources, transcripts of speeches and pictures of some of the "Action for Changes" we have co-sponsored and participated in helpful. We welcome your comments and wish each of you support as you do the work you have been called to do. Thank you again for visiting our site!
We say STTOP!
JOIN US NOW as we and many others continue to support survivors and to work towards creating a more safe, sacred and secure society for all children and adults.
While STTOP! works with many groups and individuals regarding clergy sex abuse, STTOP! neither endorses nor promotes the specific opinions on other matters and/or mission statements of any group or individual listed on our site.