by Susan Matthews
A lawyer who privately came forward was not able to help a survivor, whose story you read about in the previous post. The survivor now wants his name made public.
David Eyes was a child when he was abused by Father Robert L. Brennan. He spent too much of his adult life embroiled in a grand jury investigation. The grueling emotional process cut fresh wounds into his already scarred psyche. Suicide attempts and subsequent hospitalization made it clear that self preservation meant stepping away from it all. It was the right decision for him and his family. David is working, married and surviving.
But now, his hard-won and tenuous stability is threatened. Lawyers prosecuting a civil case against the Philadelphia archdiocese on behalf of another victim asked him to testify. David explained why he couldn’t – how it might cost him his life. They responded with a subpoena.
Cornered and forced to ensure something horrific as child, David is once again cornered and being forced to do something terrifying as an adult. The subpoena compels him to appear in court on Monday, May 7 or he’ll be held in contempt – which carries the possibility of arrest and fines. Yet, the price he’ll pay for testifying is far worse. So he and his family have decided he won’t comply with the subpoena.
David is refusing on behalf of all survivors. No one should be re-victimized, he says.
Civil and criminal cases have been the best means of gaining public awareness, preventing abuse and offering an opportunity for justice. But the end does not justify the means when a survivor is forced to testify.