On Thursday, June 13, victims of clergy sexual abuse directly addressed America's Catholic leaders during the bishops' meeting in Dallas. The occasion marked the first time victims have been allowed to speak to the bishops in a formal setting. Here are their statements.

"A Dirty Bandage on an Infected Wound"
A victim of clergy sexual abuse tells his own story and asks that the laity demand "more than promises" from the bishops. By David Clohessy, Executive Director of SNAP (Survivors' Network of Those Abused by Priests).

"Silence Was Killing Me"
"I find it easier to tell my story using the name John Doe. I can revisit my pain and not hurt myself again." By Craig Martin

"Deep Scars on My Soul"
"Fr. Jose violated my innocence, ruined my adolescence, and deeply wounded my self-confidence, self-esteem, and sexual response." By Paula Gonzales Rohrbacher

"I Felt Re-Victimized Again and Again"
A victim of abuse who later became a priest himself and exposed his abuser says he was treated like a "loose cannon." By Michael Bland

Video: The Victims Speak
Part two of Bland's statement; complete video of David Clohessy's statement
(Free Realplayer required)

Related Statement:

The Experience of the Victim of Sexual Abuse
A psychologist outlines the psychological and interpersonal aftershocks of childhood sexual abuse. By Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea, Ph.D.

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