​​​​​​NBC affiliate KBJR-TV newscasts:     Losing Faith  (1996-1998)    The Legal Loophole  (2002)​​

After 40 hours of training provided by the MN Department of
Corrections  Approved  Crisis  Counseling  program,  David 
staffed a hotline for PAVSA (Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault), handling calls from persons in crisis. On May 20, 1998,  PAVSA paid tribute to David for his many hours of unpaid work with this non-profit.
“David went through hell trying to do the right thing. Church members shunned and insulted him, and
accused him of money-grubbing — it was clear that money was the farthest thing from his mind...”  
                                  ​Susan Stanich, award-winning journalist and writer for The Duluth News Tribune
Ever concerned for children's safety, David volunteered his house as a McGruff Safe House for Kids. After the required background check by law enforcement and the training orientation, he was accepted  into the McGruff program  in June 1995.

Copyright David Samarzia  2023

David Samarzia

Author and Advocate 

DISCLAIMER:  The contents of this website (not including links to other sites which are the responsibility of those site owners) are based on the opinions of David Samarzia and presented with the understanding that he does not intend to render any type of medical, psychological, legal, or any other kind of professional advice.


Blindsided:  A Memoir  by David Samarzia
The fir
st in a fully-documented series telling the true story

behind the headlines that shocked a nation
Looking for representation in 2023

After twenty-five years of confusion and silent self-blame, David Samarzia discovered that children from his hometown of Duluth MN were being sent on a church mission trip to work, and live, alongside the pastor who’d abused him in childhood. He had to find the courage to tell the church. He had to rescue the kids—how many lives might be lost if he didn’t? No other child should have to live hiding in shame every hour of every day. Or even try to kill themselves.

With the church's newly-written sex abuse policy in hand, David informed church leaders about the minister-molester. He didn’t ask them for a dime—just keep that pedophile away from children. In a bewildering turn of events that made national news before spreading around the globe, ecclesial officials chose to defend a child molester who'd already admitted the abuse and go after the victim. With the church itself at risk of going on the auction block, even more betrayal of trust would follow.

As seen on NBC’s "Dateline" and written up in Newsweek, The London Times, and WORLD magazine,
David Samarzia's case against a mainline Protestant church set a legal precedent, being published
as case law on Jan. 15, 1997.  It opened the flood-gates for other victims of childhood sex abuse
 to take successful court action against predators right up to the present day. 
“I'd have never filed a lawsuit, and the healing for ALL the molester's victims would have started a whole lot sooner — if the church had simply followed their own guidelines on dealing with abuse allegations. ​My research showed me that molesters abuse not just once, but again and again, and I didn't want to see any other child go through what I did. The costs of childhood sexual assault to individuals, families, and society are enormous. A lot more can still be done to help survivors who take the brave step of holding molesters and guilty institutions accountable.”    
​​David Samarzia, pioneer and trailblazer for rescuing children before they could be put in harm's way, refused to give up despite the denomination's protracted legal battle against him. He spoke with hundreds of survivors, helping them find hope again; worked with legislators to change victims' laws; and began writing his memoir to help others by what he'd learned. Maybe this is why David survived a youthful suicide attempt — to be an impassioned voice for men and women who carry lifelong scars from sexual assault.

A few of the many organizations to which he donated his time, talent, and resources:
So many sex-abuse scandals have surfaced, and countless stories
have been written about them. This one is different. 
"When I met David Samarzia in 2014, I had never heard of him or his lawsuit. Being a natural organizer, I offered to sort through the numerous boxes of papers he’d hauled around for years, and file everything in order.  I was astounded as he recounted to me the painful story of his life and was amazed that he never varied in the details. Everything I saw in the paperwork corroborated his verbal account. I believe that David’s story becoming better known is an important step to help stop the re-victimization of sexual assault victims that happens far too often."
Carol Tardiff, writer