Speaking OUT to end clergy sexual misconduct.

Dear friends,

Please read this important letter from Dr. David Pooler of Baylor University, which issued the landmark study on clergy sexual abuse in 2009. Baylor is now studying how churches respond when victims report sexual abuse or misconduct by religious leaders. You may have already received an invitation to participate in the survey through The Hope of Survivors. If you are a woman over 18, and you experienced clergy sexual abuse at age 16 or after, I hope you will participate in the survey. Your experience could help many others. Although the study is limited to adult women, the results may lead to healthier outcomes for all victims and survivors.

Here is Dr. Pooler’s letter:

Your experience as a survivor of clergy sexual misconduct matters to us. This is an invitation to participate in a national study conducted by Baylor University so we can better understand these experiences. This important project is funded by Hope of Survivors and the Grant Me the Wisdom Foundation. It is hoped that this research will provide information about how churches and denominations can better respond to people who have been abused by a church leader. 

If you are a woman who is 18 years or older and the abuse occurred at age 16 or after in your life, we want you to participate. There are questions about you, your church, and the ways your church did or did not support you. Below is the link to an anonymous Internet survey. We are not asking for information that can personally identify you. Your involvement in this research is critically important. Thank you in advance for considering this opportunity. Please note: This survey could take up to 30 minutes, so please set aside some dedicated time to work on it. We hope that you will benefit from knowing that your responses will help generate new knowledge and awareness around this important issue.

To take the survey click the following link:


Feel free to forward or share this link with other survivors.


David Pooler, Ph.D., LCSW
Associate Dean For Baccalaureate Studies
School of Social Work
Baylor University

Update, May 26, 2016: This study is now closed. Dr. Pooler and his team are analyzing the results and will present their findings this fall. I’ll post a link here as soon as I receive it.

Comments on: "A Call for Survivors’ Voices: Baylor University’s New Survey" (6)

  1. How churches respond to the abuse of adult women is worthy of research and very much needed.

  2. Susan K Spies said:


    Perhaps it should be mentioned that this study has concluded as of…..


  3. Are the results available yet?

    • Good question, Patty. Dr. Pooler began sharing results with academic audiences last fall, but he has not yet published anything to the general public. His research assistants are working on a “best practices” guide for churches responding to clergy misconduct, based on the feedback from survivors in this study. Dr. Pooler intends to publish that guide on the Baylor website this spring. I look forward to seeing this, and I will definitely highlight it on the blog. Thank you for the nudge; I will write to Dr. Pooler and see how this important project is coming along.

    • Update! I just learned David Pooler will be sharing the results at The Hope of Survivors conference on April 22 in Buffalo, NY. It’s open to survivors and their supporters, and it’s only $25 to attend. For more info on that event: http://thehopeofsurvivors.com/registration.php

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