SNAP founder Barbara Blaine dies at 61

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SNAP founder Barbara Blaine dies at 61

Barbara Blaine, who founded the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and was also the former president of the organization, died Sunday in Utah at the age of 61, the support group confirmed. "I looked for other survivors and asked if they would be willing to talk".

"Few people have done more to protect kids and help victims than Barbara Blaine, " Dorris said. She was surrounded by family and friends, the group wrote. Yet, within the year, I recognized that church officials were not following it. "I carry with me the sense that I'm a bad person - I think that's still there". She started-and for nearly 30 years-worked extremely hard to help build the world's most successful organization of child sex abuse victims. She started and for nearly 30 years worked extremely hard to help build the world's most successful organization for child sex abuse victims. "Her contributions to a safer society would be hard to overstate", Dorris wrote on SNAP's official page.

Her departure occurred shortly after the resignation of Clohessy and the filing of a January 17 lawsuit against the organization, in which a former development director accused SNAP of taking kickbacks from victims' attorneys and profiting from settlements.

A longtime advocate for victims of sex abuse at the hands of clergy has died.

The series, which included the revelation that one Boston priest had molested more than 130 children while the church moved him from parish to parish, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in public service. Blaine confronted the priest, the Rev. Chet Warren, and his superiors, the church agreed to pay for therapy for her, but the priest was allowed to remain in ministry for years.

The group came into the spotlight in 2002 after The Boston Globe investigated stories on priest sexual abuse scandal, which brought several allegations to the fore against the Roman Catholic Church and the priests.

But since then SNAP has often accused bishops of failing to keep these promises, and the group continues to be seen by the church as an adversarial force.

She studied theology and social work at Saint Louis University, a Jesuit school, and received a master's degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, who was president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at the height of the scandal in 2002, recalled on Monday that he had first met Ms. Blaine when he was an auxiliary bishop in Chicago.

Barbara Ann Blaine was born on July 6, 1956, and grew up Toledo. She did not give a reason, but she and other SNAP officials were sued in January by a former employee who said she was sacked after asking superiors whether the organization was referring potential clients to attorneys in return for donations.

Blaine resigned from SNAP on February 3 to start the Accountability Project, an effort to stop clergy sex crimes around the world. She was able to attend law school, at DePaul University, with money she received in the settlement with the church.

Ms. Blaine's death prompted an emotional outpouring from survivors around the world, her husband said. Survivors include her husband of 15 years, Howard Rubin of Chicago; two stepsons, Brett and Joshua; seven siblings; and two grandsons.

"I'm hearing from people who are saying, 'She saved my life, '" he said. She was in 8th grade at the time of the alleged abuse, according to the New York Times.

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