Catholic World News

Lawsuit charges SNAP works for lawyers, not sex-abuse victims

January 19, 2017

A former fundraiser for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has filed a lawsuit against the group, charging that it “callously disregards the real interests of victims” in order to raise money from plaintiffs’ lawyers.

Gretchen Hammond, who was director of development for SNAP from 2011 to 2013, says in her lawsuit that SNAP is a “commercial operation premised on farming out abuse victims as clients for attorneys.” She reports that more than 80% of SNAP’s revenues comes from lawyers, in donations that she describes as “kickbacks” paid by attorneys for whom the group provides clients.

In her lawsuit, filed in an Illinois court, Hammond charges that she was fired from her position as SNAP after she raised questions about the group’s exploitation of sex-abuse victims.

Hammond reports that SNAP ignores sex-abuse victims whose cases do not fit the group’s plans. And she details how the organization has used funds to advance a campaign against the Catholic Church, branching out into issues that are not related to the concerns of abuse victims.

As Hammond describes the process, SNAP solicits donations from lawyers who represent sex-abuse victims, and in turn furnishes plaintiffs. “SNAP then manipulates and exploits media publicity surrounding survivors’ lawsuits against the church to raise its own publicity and drive further fundraising efforts.”


For all current news, visit our News home page.

Further information:
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Ken_H - Jan. 19, 2017 10:19 PM ET USA

    When will the Boston Globe investigative team issue their in-depth report?

  • Posted by: Sed contra - Jan. 19, 2017 2:57 PM ET USA

    Many have suspected this for a long time. Let's hope this case moves forward. It's time that the light of day be shed on SNAP's shady operations.

  • Posted by: ElizabethD - Jan. 19, 2017 12:31 PM ET USA

    Give this woman a medal for courage. May God bless her for actually caring about the victims and exposing their corrupt exploiters.