New support group formed for sex abuse survivors

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 10:38 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Three church sex abuse survivors formed a friendship and are now advocating for other victims.

They created their own support group after breaking with the Survivors Network of those Abuse Priests. They say they felt betrayed following a meeting between a former SNAP leader and the Archbishop of New Orleans.

“The three of us here have bonded together to form a union,” said survivor Mark Vath, “until I met Richard and John and a lot of these people in our network, my life was going downhill, quickly.”

They’ve all shared their stories publicly and started advocating for others.

“We formed just an impromptu Facebook group and it worked out really well, we were sort of living in exile over there as a support group and we just decided to make it official and so we have,” said survivor Richard Windmann.

They formed the support group,”Survivors of Childhood Sex Abuse,” or SCSA.

“That’s what we’re about, the transparency and justice more than anything, because you can’t tell me that there’s not more pedophiles out here right now that need to be brought to justice,” said survivor John Anderson.

“Our primary purpose is supporting victims and survivors, that’s very important because they live a life of pure hell before they come forward and become survivors, the hellish life that they live, they drink and they do drugs to self-medicate, they all have PTSD, they all have depression,” said Windmann.

They want to make sure victims don’t feel alone. They say they know firsthand how isolating and devastating that can be.

“Having to live a life like we lived, a lot of these people are scared to come out, they need to know that they are not alone,” said Anderson.

“Sometimes they think we are only helping them, but the truth of the matter is they are helping us as well,” Windmann said.

Now, the advocacy group that they founded, is offering resources and support to other victims of childhood sex abuse free of charge.

“They need people to know where they are coming from, know what they have been through, know what their life is like, we get it,” said Vath.

The founding members of “Survivors of Childhood Sex Abuse,” say they hold weekly support meetings online. For more information about the group click here.

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