Speaking OUT to end clergy sexual misconduct.

For Victims & Survivors

First, three truths. 

1. Your pastor’s harmful behavior was not your fault. This is true no matter who “started it.”

2. Clergy sexual misconduct doesn’t have to be physical to be harmful.

3. You can get through this and emerge stronger than ever. Have hope!

Resources for healing:

The Hope of Survivors provides information on clergy sexual abuse: what it is, what it does, and how the church can prevent it. Trained volunteer counselors can help victims get through the crisis and become survivors. The Hope of Survivors offers workshops for survivors and educational programs for churches.

Predatory Pastor is a ministry located in Southwest Virginia, dedicated to providing awareness and educating and protecting individuals, families and churches against the devastation of Clergy Sexual Abuse/Misconduct. The Predatory Pastor blog exists to provide resources, encouragement and hope to CSA survivors and their families.

If you are in crisis: please get help now! If you are feeling suicidal, call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or your local crisis hotline. Your life is worth saving! Your life has a purpose! You can recover and heal from abuse.

Resources for victims/survivors from specific faith traditions:  

Calvary Chapel
Church of God in Christ (COGIC)
 ;
also here
Episcopal Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
Jehovah’s Witnesses (survivors of child sexual abuse)
Mennonite Church USA
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Roman Catholic Church ; also here
Seventh Day Adventist
Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) denominational resources
SBC survivor/advocate page
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA)
United Church of Christ (UCC) survivor resource and guide to prevention
United Methodist Church (UMC) 

If you are aware of resources from other denominations or traditions, please share them via comment to this page or via email to catherinethiemann at gmail dot com.

Victims/survivors in Canada: please visit the blog, resources, and denominational information at MyVoiceBack.

Resources for learning:

Abuse by Clergy FAQs, by the FaithTrust Institute. 

When Wolves Wear Shepherds’ Clothing: Helping Women Survive Clergy Sexual Abuse, by Dr. Diana R. Garland.

Soul Stealing: Power Relations in Pastoral Sexual Abuse, by Rev. Dr. Pamela Cooper-White.

Baylor University Study on Clergy Sexual Misconduct, led by Dr. Diana R. Garland, Dean of the Baylor School of Social Work.

The Survivor’s Bookshelf: my favorite books on all aspects of clergy sexual abuse: what is is, how to prevent it, how to heal.

Survivor profiles:

SurvivorGirl007 profile and blog

Erik Campano profile and blog on faith-related topics

K profile

 

Comments on: "For Victims & Survivors" (7)

  1. survivorgirl007 said:

    These resources are fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Hello, we just launched our website and are hoping you guys will list us as a resource. We also have a facebook page. We love your site!

  3. Anonymous said:

    Thank you for this website & your story; about a year ago, my relationship with my priest ended and well into the future, I am still reeling from the loss, feeling of betrayal, and also just missing the person terribly. I have a hard time seeing myself as a victim – I was certainly an active, seductive, and complicit participant in what transpired – and yet I can’t help but see similarities between my story and others; I also have a difficult time seeing him as abusive; I simply don’t think there was malevolence – maybe some denial, but mostly I think he got in over his head before he realized it. And nonetheless – I was put in a position where my only real choice was to leave my church & he reported himself for clergy sexual misconduct. I have been totally in the dark & a deafening silence since then, and the conclusion I have reached is that both he and our denomination went CYA and self protective, without regard for the fall out I would experience. I once felt safest at my church and in his company, and that sense of safety has been shattered – losing that relationship and my church was like part of the ground falling away.

    • Anoymous, my heart hurts reading your words. Even if you welcomed your priest’s sexual attention — even if you invited it — it was his duty to protect you and keep you safe. Instead, he saw your need and vulnerability, and exploited you for his own pleasure. In the end, you lost everything while he apparently has lost nothing. I don’t read any anger in your statement, but I feel it myself. I am angry at your priest and your church leaders for the way they are dismissing your pain and (it seems) your very existence.
      I’m glad you found this site. You are always welcome to read and share your feelings in the comments. I hope you’ve found some of the other great resources online, especially The Hope of Survivors (www.thehopeofsurvivors.com).
      You are not to blame for what happened to you. It was not your fault. You deserve much better. I pray you will find healing, and a true sense of your beauty and worth as God’s beloved child.

      • Anonymous said:

        I *know* you’re right; in my heart, I’m still just so stunned by how it was handled. I’m in therapy, have other counsel, my husband was incredibly gracious and is still very supportive, and I’M even in a counseling profession – so, I know what you’re saying is accurate. I’m considering reaching out to my diocese, which has a reputation for handling these things comparatively well. I hesitate because I don’t know what I’d be hoping to accomplish; because I don’t know that I want to put myself through the inevitable backlash / having to defend myself because I’m fairly certain people will attack me for it to protect him; I’m aware he has a wife & kids and I don’t want them to get further dragged through anything. I just want it all to go away, which I know is not possible.

        Thank you for your response – I appreciate your truth-telling and your openness about your own story.

  4. My family and I are being bullied by our Episcopal priest, Bob Malm. Please visit my website to learn more–your concern and support is appreciated.

    • Eric, I’m so sorry to hear that. What a terrible, painful situation. There are so many men and women in clergy who should simply not be in that role at all. Your priest’s behavior is not only harmful to you and your family, but to the whole congregation. You definitely have my concern and support.

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