FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2018
HARRISBURG (September 24, 2018) – Stop Child Predators (SCP) today announced that Jim VanSickle will join SCP as the organization’s first Survivor Advocacy Coordinator. The role will allow Jim to help other survivors of abuse by clergy to find the support they need and to come together to fight for legislation that will allow them to have their day in court and hold their abusers accountable.
“I have been contacted by so many survivors from around the state, the country and overseas who want to share their experiences and help to make sure that those responsible for their abuse are held accountable,” VanSickle said. “I didn’t ask to be in this fight, but I am not going to turn from it. I have been so inspired by the courage of so many men and women who have decided that they are not going to remain silent any longer.”
“It took me 40 years of anguish to arrive at this point but for me and survivors everywhere, there is no going back. We need to all join forces; support one another and demand that we are afforded our day in court. That starts with real, meaningful action by state lawmakers to enact the reforms called for by statewide grand jury, including changes to the statute of limitations,” Jim added.
SCP President Stacie Rumenap said that Jim’s courage and poise make him a strong advocate.
“We’ve been active in every state on a variety of critical issues from preventing further clergy abuse to enacting Megan’s Law and Jim really is a national role model,” Rumenap said. “We’re going to be heavily involved in Pennsylvania and we are very pleased to be working with Jim. We’re confident that if lawmakers focus on survivors and listen to them as they share their experiences, they’ll step up and enact effective measures that will empower survivors and help to prevent future abuse of children.”
SCP, a not-for-profit organization, has worked in all 50 states as an effective resource for policymakers in developing legislation that provides effective safeguards to prevent further abuse and to provide access to justice for those already victimized. SCP has also partnered with survivors and their families in Delaware and Wisconsin to push through legislation that restored their rights to pursue civil litigation against their abusers.
In addition to developing model legislation, SCP has helped build lasting coalitions for survivors, their families, and advocates. SCP worked in Pennsylvania on legislation regarding violence against children and on legislation to establish a sex offender registration that would survive a constitutional challenge.
Jim, 55, was abused as a teenager while attending a Catholic high school in Bradford, PA. He decided to come forward and share his experience earlier this year when his abuser was charged with abusing two other boys. Jim testified before the state grand jury that investigated decades of abuse by clergy and the cover-up of that abuse by the Catholic Church and has vowed to do everything he can to identify and work with victims so that the church is held accountable.
“I am very fortunate to be able to join forces with SCP. They’ve worked in all 50 states. They have a strong track record of success and they are deeply committed to protecting children,” Jim said.
For more information, please visit Stop Child Predators Facebook page at www.facebook.com/StopChildPred.