"The Keepers" investigator backs sexual assault survivors

Gemma Hoskins shows support for survivors speaking out against their abusers in power


     In April of this year I had the pleasure of interviewing Gemma Hoskins while creating three podcast episodes for American CrimeCast on the unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik. In the following month the world was introduced to Hoskins when the docu-series "The Keepers" aired on Netflix on May 19th, 2017. The series explores the 1969 murder of Sister Cathy, who was an English and Drama teacher at Baltimore's Archbishop Keough High School, and the alleged cover up by the church to hide the sexual abuse by the school's counselor, Father Joseph Maskell.

     In both my podcast and the docu-series, Hoskins is seen as a former student of Sister Cathy and someone who refuses to let the story of her murder, and the sexual abuse, die in the public's eye. Since the release of "The Keepers", Hoskins has stressed the importance of supporting survivors of sexual abuse - and her mission doesn't stop with only victims of Father Maskell. 

I am celebrating my 65th birthday by making a commitment to do whatever I can to speak for and about the individuals who have recently come forward to publicly share that they have been sexually harassed and abused by public figures.
— Gemma Hoskins, 11/26/2017

     During her interview on American CrimeCast, Hoskins spoke of the many men and women who have come forward since she and another former student, Abbie Schaub, started their investigation into Sister Cathy's murder. Since the release of the "The Keepers" many more victims continue speaking out against their abuse - possibly with strength from hearing the stories of other survivors. 

     One such story shared on both the podcast and docu-series is that of Maskell Survivor - Teresa Lancaster. Teresa explained in horrible details about the abuse she and others endured at the hands of Father Maskell while she attended Archbishop Keough High School. 

The year before I was abused (by Father Maskell) sister Cathy was murdered. Some of the students that were being abused went to Sister Cathy and told them about what Maskell was doing to us. Shortly after that, Sister Cathy said she was going to get to the bottom of things. Then she was murdered. If Sister Cathy hadn’t been murdered, she could have blew the lid on this thing over at Keough and I would have not been abused. I would have been spared.
— Teresa Lancaster, American CrimeCast Podcast Case #9 Episode 1

     In recent months we continue to see the impact these brave survivors have paved in the wake of the release of "The Keepers". When people get together and say enough is enough, such as Hoskins and Lancaster, it creates an atmosphere that empowers victim survivors to come forward and share their stories. Although these victims are still facing scrutiny and abuse by the public, Gemma Hoskins is stepping back up to defend them. 

I am frustrated that women are being abused again by coming forward about abuse and being told they are lying. As a country and world community, we can change that. Subsequent to the release of The Keepers, i was made keenly aware of the new voice that many men and women found because of the courage of the survivors of abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Our survivors still are seeking full transparency and so we are still fighting for their justice. Now we see many more survivors speaking up, being given the courage to do that because of The Keepers. We absolutely can not let them down. We all need to speak their truth. For their abusers to charge these victims with character defamation and lying is ludicrous.
— Gemma Hoskins, 11/26/2017

     Every day I work on cases for my True Crime podcast, American CrimeCast. I deal with cases where abusers have taken the lives of their victims - such as Sister Cathy. But when the abuser allows their victim to continue to live, I argue that they believe they will forever hold power over them - knowing they either will not speak out or will not be believed. I speak in my podcast for those victims whom have been silenced by death, however Gemma Hoskins is speaking out for those that live through their abuse. 

     Now Hoskins is asking for your help.

The world is on our side bc of The Keepers. When was the last time in our lives that the world agreed on something? I have heard from thousands of individuals who want to help. Now we need to take that powerful tribe and do something to change the image and stigma of abuse survivors. I think we can do that. I am willing to do whatever I can to make this happen. No woman or man should ever have to be afraid to speak their truth. My heart hurts for their courage, tenacity and pain. Let us pave the way.
— Gemma Hoskins, 11/26/2017
I am asking the media to give me an opportunity to make a public show of support for these courageous individuals. Who is in this with me? I have attempted to contact CNN to request a public forum but so far have been unsuccessful. Please help me find a way to stand for and with survivors of sexual abuse who are being denied their integrity and courage by those who have none.
Please share this. We need an army to fight this good fight.
— Gemma Hoskins, 11/26/2017
Legal advancements ... coupled with the positive impact The Keepers had among the adult survivors of child sexual abuse has created a platform for survivors. Survivors now feel validated, believed and supported. This empowers them to speak out about their abuse. I continue to hear from survivors all over the world. My advice is for the “Keepers” of the dark secrets of abuse to continue to “keep” this movement going. It is a movement! Sexual abuse will no longer be tolerated because we brought it to the forefront. I also encourage survivors to stay strong, know they are not alone and to reach out for help if they feel they need it. SNAP has always been there for me. We have only just begun.....Survivors, do not feel shy about shouting out “Me too.” There are many of us and we have a voice.
— Teresa Lancaster, 11/26/2017

Please continue to help support survivors by sharing this message from Gemma Hoskins.


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