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Clergy abuse victims group focuses on congressional page program

By Bill Raack, KWMU

St. Louis – A sexual abuse victims' advocacy group is turning its attention to the congressional page program.

At a press conference Thursday on Capitol Hill, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, called on members of Congress to contact the police if they suspect sexual misconduct by lawmakers.

SNAP's National Director, David Clohessy of St. Louis, said the congressional page program needs more oversight in order to be safe.

"We'd like to see the committee for the page program be expanded to at least five members from three members now," Clohessy said. "To remove the partisanship, we think there should be one person from each political party but that the other three members should be police, prosecutors, therapists, people who are obligated by law to call the appropriate police agency."

SNAP also renewed its call for Congressman John Shimkus of Collinsville to step down as head of the page board.

Shimkus has said he will not resign from the position.