Our message to society
We, the survivors brought together by this support network, are individuals who, during their childhood, youth or as adults, have suffered abuse of power, abuse of conscience, sexual abuse, by priests, nuns, secular actors, in clerical spheres.
We are also those marked by the systematic concealment the Catholic Church has maintained for decades by protecting these criminals, transferring them over and over from one city or country to another, hiding them from Justice and even disguising such impunity as a punishment.
We, the survivors, are those who on daily basis remember the ones gone without any justice done, the ones who commited suicide when they could not take the damages anymore.It is also on behalf of them that we are fighting.
We are the silence of a constant abuse, a systematic, agressive, castrating one, determined to denigrate us, objectify us, putting our abusers on a pedestal to grant them a morbid, immoral and illegal power.
We are that silence waking up every day and is turning into a voice, becoming organized, that condemns the repeated abuses by Catholic Church members, that condemns their networks of protection and concealment, that condemns a structure of abuse.
We are a choir of voices demanding radical changes to end abuse in our society. We dream of child abuse survivors being an endangered species. Such is our inspiration for creating this imperfect map.
We shouldn´t be making maps.We should be receiving care and assistance from government institutions along our way to healing. Yet we are painfully becoming aware that the nightmares of our abuse cross paths with horrors of the present day: vulnerable children, teenagers and adults are in actual danger, and that´s what we are reacting to!
Our society is beginning to understand that clerical abuse is not just something that occurs between the abuser and the victim, neither is a private issue between the complainant and the Catholic Church. It is a blatant violation of Human Rights regarding children, adolescents and adults with serious consequences that scar them for life.
Este imperfecto mapa que hoy regalamos a la sociedad chilena es un grito coral que rompe el silencio. Muches de nosotres dimos nuestro testimonio una y mil veces en los medios buscando concientizar, sensibilizar, alertar al país de crímenes sistemáticos.
This imperfect mapa that we are handing over to the Chilean society today is a choral scream for breaking the silence.many of us have given our testimony once and again on the media with the purpose of raising awareness, warning the country about how systematic these crimes are.
This is a map of the present. Hopefully, one day it will be part of the memory of these outrageous crimes committed in Chilean territory. But this is way too far from being so.
After experiencing abuse, each one of us has had the self image of a dirty old rag thrown away by the criminal after pleasing themselves. Alone, locked in a cage of endless pain, suffering. What we have then found out is that the permanent damage that was done to us also affected our families and the consequences of this crime are staying with us for life. We are a public health issue. Because in addition to making our lives a daily ordeal, it messed with social, work and personal relationships, with everything. Who is to be accountable for the medical and human results of these crimes? Who is to encourage and embrace those who are still trapped, by thousands, in the silence abuse forced on them?
This network demands the president of Chile Sebastián Piñera an answer to our request, made last year on august 03, for the creation of a Presidential Committee on making further progress with the search of Truth, Justice and Reparation for thousands rather than hundreds of survivors in our country. If the Chilean state keeps a looking the other way about clerical abuse in Chile, being well aware that these crimes are not a thing from the past, aware that they have been a systematic action in the history of our country as much as covering up the criminals has been, if the Chilean state does not act firmly, our suspicions of it being an accomplice of the violations of Human Rights will be confirmed and we will have no choice but turning to international courts.
We are endorsed by the Convention for the rights of the child, the Convention against torture and other cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women/ CEDAW, the Inter american Convention on preventing, punishing and erradicating violence against women nvención de Belém do Pará", la International Convention on the rights of disabled people and other documents signed or ratified by the state of Chile.
This network promotes and supports the Imprescriptibility of sexual abuse bill in Chile. Just by taking a look at the date of the abuses and the date the abuses were reported that we have gathered on this imperfect map, you may clearly see that our abuses were silenced for decades, and we know too well how long it takes to break free from the pain, humiliation and even the ridiculous feeling of guilt before we can speak. Only 4 our of 10 will be able to tell their circle of trust and onlt 6% to 10% will file a complaint.
This network also supports any bill with the purpose of ending the privileges that the Catholic Church keeps being provided with. We deeply believe in equality under the law.
This network is also warning the families and the state that on daily basis put their children under the care of the Catholic Church or its congregations to take a look at this imperfect map and take a moment to wonder if they can really sleep at night, aware that 11% to 15% of clergy are involved in child sexual abuse crimes.
We are using this opportunity to call all clerical abuse survivors in Chile to denounce their abusers before the Chilean Justice. We invite them to turn to the district attorney´s office and provide the information they can remember of the abuser as much as other clergy who might know about the abuse and remained silent or concealed it deliberately.
We, the survivors, demand the state and the society to do their duties. Justice, Reparation and Prevention are clearly obligations of the state powers and we are concerned that they are still at fault about an issue that will affect generations yet to grow up. You are responsible for stopping this. While we are reunited here, a child or a teenager is being abused, and it´s taking place closer than you dare thinking. We will keep doing our part, your intervention is urgent.
Thank you all.