MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT:
It has been an exhilarating ride since we were founded earlier in the year! Neither myself or the Board of Directors could have anticipated or predicted the explosive growth and accomplishments the organization has achieved and experienced so early in our infancy. And welcome to our first Newsletter! It is long overdue, and we appreciate your patience! Going forward, we will be publishing the newsletter every quarter, and we hope it allows you to be informed on everything we are doing in the background.
Since our inception on February 11th, 2021 to the date of this writing, SCSA now has 1,218 members! Not only the United States, but we have members in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and the UK. I attribute this growth to SCSA being an all-inclusive organization for all victims and survivors of childhood sex abuse, not just the Catholic Church. While the church is the most visible scandal, they represent a small sample of childhood sex abuse. The biggest demographic is the family; parents, grandparents, the drunk uncle, babysitters, friends of the family. I read a paper from a university’s psychology department, and they estimate that there are 4,000,000 victims of childhood sex abuse who have yet to come forward. I believe that number to be low.
In March we were designated a Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization by the IRS, which allows donations to be tax exempt, so we can designate more funds to the organizational operations and the member services that we provide. Being fiscally sound and responsible was one of our founding principles, and we take that very seriously. Currently, our co-founders are “chipping in” to support the organization, and will continue to do so until donations are such that the organization is self-supporting. The IRS is rather slow, but we are waiting to be included in their database. As soon as that happens, we will be able to register with Amazon's Smile Program and Facebook, and then we expect that donations will become more frequent and allow SCSA to be self-supporting through donations.
Our weekly support meetings are humming along, are well established and attendance is up. This is important because it is the most important thing that we do. A close second is our awareness initiatives. SCSA staff and volunteers have been very prolific in the media space. From radio and tv shows, to newspapers and other print publications, as well as speaking events, SCSA has had exposure almost on a weekly basis. And we also advocate on behalf of our members; we assist with attorney and mental health professional referrals for our members, and work with state legislators to eliminate the statute of limitations on sex crimes against children.
From myself and the Board of Directors, we want to let you know that it is a duty, honor and privilege to serve victims and survivors of childhood sex abuse. We cannot imagine doing anything else, and it is a constant source of pride to be able to serve you. We look forward to be able to interact with you and serve your needs, and if I don’t get to interact with you personally, until the next newsletter, I remain,
With warmest regards,
Richard G. Windmann, PhD
Survivors of Childhood Sex Abuse (SCSA)
VOLUNTEER OF THE QUARTER:
The cog in the wheel of SCSA, of which we couldn’t operate without, is the collection of selfless and dedicated volunteers of our organization. It never ceases to amaze me the incredible work they do, at all hours of the day and night, in service to our membership. Every quarter we will recognize a volunteer who exemplifies what it means to be a SCSA volunteer.
Cate was the very first member of our Board of Directors. In addition to that role, she stands in service and dedicates a massive amount of time with our members. She is constantly relied upon to assist our members by using “Rapid Eye Technology,” in which all members have raved about its efficacy in their healing journey. Indeed, I myself have witnessed the remarkable progress that our members have made, after only one session. In addition, she works one-on-one with our members, to ensure that they are living their best lives. All this while working a full-time day job. Cate has set the bar very high and is a leader by example for our other volunteers!
SURVIVOR STORY OF THE QUARTER:
This one was very hard, and ended up in a tie. Steve McEvoy was SCSA’s very first member, and his story is so eloquently told, it borders on poetry. John Anderson is SCSA’s co-founder and is Vice President of Men’s Support Programs. John’s story is very compelling, going into details about his horrific abuse, and how it has affected him all of his life. What do they both have in common? They were both raped by Catholic Deacon George Brignac, who is to date Louisiana’s most prolific serial pedophile, whose abuse was covered up by the Archdiocese of New Orleans for years. If you are not that far into your recovery, these stories might be triggering to you. But if you can read them, they can give you some insights as to how childhood sex abuse effects victims well into their adulthood:
Steve McEvoy’s Story: https://www.scsaorg.org/rwindmann/i_have_a_name
John Anderson’s Story: https://www.scsaorg.org/john_anderson_s_story
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS REFORM:
What victims and survivors do not have, and desperately crave is justice. A sense of justice is integral for their healing journey. Across the country they deal with antiquated civil and criminal laws that do not adequately address these contemporary times. We know more about pedophiles in this age. We are aware of the institutional coverups today. The current laws in place are lagging and simply do not address the current needs of victims and survivors of childhood sex abuse.
Shortly after the formation of SCSA, we learned of a courageous Representative in Louisiana, the Honorable Jason Hughes, who had introduced a bill to extend the statute of limitations from 10 to 35 years for sex crimes against minors. Being a Nonprofit, IRS rules do not allow for SCSA to lobby legislation. But it didn’t preclude SCSA from sending survivors to Baton Rouge to testify.
President, Vice President, and a Board member, along with survivors from across the state, converged on the Capital and testified before House and Senate Committees. Their testimonies were so compelling and horrifying, the legislature unanimously voted for the bill, and completely eliminated the civil statute of limitations altogether, and gave all existing victims and survivors a three year window to file their claims.
SCSA was the only victim/survivor advocacy and support organization that was present. And we attended every day until the bill was signed into law by the Governor of Louisiana. Currently, we are working with another Representative to get the criminal statute of limitations eliminated for sex crimes against children, which will be introduced in the 2022 legislative session. In parallel, we are doing the same in other states, and will update you on our progress.
Public Awareness is one of our most effective initiatives. In 2021, the general public has both short attention spans and memory - it’s just the world we find ourselves in today. In this initiative, the media is a very valuable partner, and are essential in keeping childhood sex abuse on the front burner of America’s collective minds. We always make ourselves available to the media, and we never say no to a request. Fortunately, we have been very effective in this effort, and SCSA is featured in the media almost weekly.
SCSA Leadership and survivors have appeared in a myriad of radio and TV shows in the recent months, spreading the word about our cause. SCSA President Richard Windmann recently authored an op/ed piece that was picked up nationally, and garnered high acclaim, most notably from Tom Doyle, a pioneer in our field. To date, the article has over 90,000 unique views, and has resulted in several invitations, such as the Church Militant’s “The Vortex” show, and The Angry Catholic Show, among others. He also recently completed a speaker series sponsored by Father Mark White, a whistleblower priest, along with the Virginia Attorney General’s office.
Our co-founder and Vice President, John Anderson, is a constant fixture on the NAASCA radio show, and has appeared several times on the local news in Louisiana and Sport Illustrated Magazine. Board Member and Women’s Support Programs VP, Jillian Coburn, has appeared on Dr. Gregory Williams’ show, many other radio shows, and is a published author in her own right. And it is not just SCSA Leadership, but we also invite survivors to media events, as their voices are the most important of all. If you are a member of the media and would like to make a inquiry, please do not hesitate to email us at [email protected] or call us at 682-710-1965.
THE HOLIDAY SEASON:
We will not have another newsletter until 1/1/2022, so from the bottom of our hearts, we wish you and yours an incredible holiday season, and a very happy and prosperous New Year. However, even people who have not been sexually abused can find the holiday season daunting, and victims and survivors often experience an amplified emotional experience during the holidays. In addition to our well-wishes, SCSA wants you to know that we are there for you during the holiday season, and we have 20 dedicated volunteers to fellowship, support, and help you during the holiday season. Support meetings will continue during the holidays. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers and will be there for you. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you find yourself in crisis or just need someone to talk to during the holidays.
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