Church Abuse Survivor Network Visits Iowa City

By Keisha Brown
September 27, 2004

A member of the group called "SNAP", a survivor network of those abused by priests, was in Iowa City Sunday.

Steve Theisen and his family handed out leaflets at three churches to attempt to reach out to silent victims of abuse. Theisen says the information on the leaflets will help his group reach out to other survivors of religious sexual abuse. “To let them know they're not alone out there. They don't need to suffer in silence anymore. They don't need to suffer alone."

Theisen visited St Patrick and St Wenceslaus churches. The churches were chosen because Iowa City priest Paul Deyo served at the two parishes. Deyo is under investigation for allegedly abusing a boy in 1998.

Thiesen also visited St. Thomas More church. “We choose St. Thomas More because a survivor has contacted us and said he was abused at this church."

The message is clear to many. Dora Campos of Iowa City told TV9, “It's not only educating us for watching the priest but everyone around us."

”If we reach out to one survivor it makes it all worth it. It really does." Theisen says his goal is to get the dioceses to publish a list with all the names of clergy members accused of sexual abuse. He says that may also help victims realize they're not alone and to step forward.

Steve Thiesen says through his efforts many victims of sexual abuse by a clergy has been able to come forward.


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