March 12, 2005

Editorial: Web site links abuse victims, prosecutors

MASSACHUSETTS
Salem News

A Merrimack Valley couple has created a Web site on which people can anonymously alert law enforcement about sexual predators.

The New Hampshire attorney general has endorsed the concept. Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly should, too.

Diane Williams Galebach and her husband, Stephen Galebach, who live in Andover, created the site victimpower.org in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandals that rocked the Roman Catholic Church. Locally, complaints of abuse have been raised against priests from both the Archdiocese of Boston and the Diocese of Manchester, N.H.

The site is unique in that it allows two-way communication between law enforcement officials and anonymous victims. Previously, investigators could not talk to victims providing tips through the mail or "crime lines" without knowing their identities.

In eight weeks of operation, the Web site has hosted 210 user accounts and received two dozen reports of abuse from around the country.

Posted by kshaw at March 12, 2005 03:53 PM