Barbara Blaine, founder of abuse victims group SNAP, dies

FILE - In this March 29, 2011, file photo, Barbara Blaine, President of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), displays childhood photographs of adults who say they were sexually abused, during a news conference in Philadelphia. Barbara Blaine, the founder and former president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, has died. The organization known as SNAP announced on its Facebook page that Blaine died Sunday, Dept. 24, 2017, following a recent cardiac event. She was 61. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

CHICAGO — Barbara Blaine, the founder and former president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, has died. She was 61.

The organization known as SNAP announced on its Facebook page that Blaine died Sunday following a recent cardiac event.

In a statement, SNAP managing director Barbara Dorris praised Blaine's work with victims of clergy sexual abuse.

"Few people have done more to protect kids and help victims than Barbara Blaine," Dorris said. "Her contributions to a safer society would be hard to overstate."

Blaine founded SNAP in 1988, years after she was abused as an 8th grader by a Toledo, Ohio, priest who taught at the Catholic school she attended, according to the organization's website. Her pleas for help to Toledo's bishop were ignored. The first SNAP meeting of victims was held at a Chicago hotel.

The group gained prominence in 2002 after the Boston Globe's stories on the priest sexual abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church.

SNAP now has more than 20,000 members and support groups meet in over 60 cities across the U.S. and the world.

Blaine resigned in February. She did not give a reason, but Blaine and other SNAP officials were sued in January by a former employee who said she was fired after asking superiors whether the organization was referring potential clients to attorneys in return for donations.

You may also interested in

Utah GOP rallies for Romney after Bannon remark on his faith

Dec 6, 2017

Mitt Romney's allies are lashing out at former White House strategist Steve Bannon for saying that Romney and his family "hid behind" their Mormon religion to avoid military service

Turkey OKs military intervention, warns Iraqi Kurds on vote

Sep 23, 2017

The Turkish parliament renewed Saturday a mandate allowing the military to intervene in Iraq and Syria, as officials continued to press Iraqi Kurdish leaders to call off an upcoming independence referendum.

Film on marathon bombing survivor to premiere at hospital

Aug 27, 2017

A new film chronicling the story of Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman will premiere at the hospital where he and others who were injured were treated

People also read these

Utah GOP rallies for Romney after Bannon remark on his faith

Dec 6, 2017

Mitt Romney's allies are lashing out at former White House strategist Steve Bannon for saying that Romney and his family "hid behind" their Mormon religion to avoid military service

Turkey OKs military intervention, warns Iraqi Kurds on vote

Sep 23, 2017

The Turkish parliament renewed Saturday a mandate allowing the military to intervene in Iraq and Syria, as officials continued to press Iraqi Kurdish leaders to call off an upcoming independence referendum.

Film on marathon bombing survivor to premiere at hospital

Aug 27, 2017

A new film chronicling the story of Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman will premiere at the hospital where he and others who were injured were treated