Survivor Stories
Joe Capozzi

Silenced for years by the betrayal and abuse of a priest, Joe found his voice and creatively transformed his pain and anger into the successful play, “For Pete’s Sake.”

“Joe was married, working and living in New Jersey when the barrage of media coverage about clergy sexual abuse finally broke open his own history. His wife had always wondered: With so much going for him, why is he so miserable? Joe had been sexually abused by the Catholic priest who was still an integral part of his family and his community. When Joe saw the priest beginning to pay attention to the young son of a close family friend, he was no longer able – or willing – to keep it a secret.

So he broke his silence. In a big way. He disclosed to his wife, he quit his job, and he began to speak out publicly about his experience. The disclosure rocked his tight-knit family, and Joe lost his marriage. But Joe experienced immense relief in finally releasing himself from his secret. And he found his voice. A trained actor, Joe had never seen himself as a writer. But his acting teacher told him he had something to say, so Joe wrote “For Pete’s Sake,” a play about the experience of clergy abuse.

The play has been very well received, and Joe has staged special performances to raise money on behalf of abuse survivors. Joe is now hard at work on transforming “For Pete’s Sake” into a screenplay, and looking forward to marrying his fiancée.”