These national organizations can provide you with valuable information and next-steps to help you begin the process of healing.Centers and Web Resources
- AdvocateWeb, Helping Overcome Professional Exploitation
AdvocateWeb serves as an information and network clearinghouse for victims and professionals, providing links to therapeutic and legal help as well as to networks of survivors, advocates, and print and other resources.
- American Association of Pastoral Counselors
9504A Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031-2303
American Association of Pastoral Counselors provides information and resources to pastoral counselors as well as the general public. AAPC seeks to promote pastoral counseling through publications and trainings. The website includes a referral directory to assist the public in finding a pastoral counselor in their area.
- FaithTrust Institute (formerly known as Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence), Working Together to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
2400 N 45th Street #10
Seattle, WA 98103
Phone: (206) 634-1903
Fax: (206) 634-0115
FaithTrust Institute provides training and resources for both religious and lay leaders concerning faith and sexual and domestic violence. FTI provides multi-religious and multi-cultural books, videotapes, curricula, and speakers that can be incorporated into seminary curricula or used by other organizations.
- Interfaith Sexual Trauma Institute (ISTI)
Saint John's Abbey and University
Collegeville, Minnesota 56321
ISTI offers a lengthy list of organizations that can be utilized by victims of sexual abuse or exploitation. It also provides a bibliography of references, book reviews, publications, and a list of treatment programs and victims associations. ISTI conducts workshops and conferences.
- Jewish Institute: Supporting an Abuse-Free Environment
233 Walker Place
West Hempstead, NY 11552
The Jewish institute is an organization joined to ensure and promote integrity within the Jewish community. The mission of JSafe is to create an environment in which every institution and organization across the entire spectrum of the Jewish community conducts itself responsibly and effectively in addressing the wrongs of domestic violence, child abuse and professional improprieties- whenever and by whomever they are perpetrated.
- The Hope of Survivors
P.O. Box 27
Effingham, IL 62401
The Hope of Survivors is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting victims of pastoral sexual abuse and misconduct, as well as providing educational and informational materials and seminars to pastors and churches of every denomination, worldwide.
- The Linkup, Survivors of Clergy Abuse
P.O. Box 429
Pewee Valley, KY 40056
Phone: (502) 241-5544
Fax: (502) 290-4056
Linkup provides information about choosing a therapist and provides a great variety of resources tailored to various denominational groups. The Linkup also works to educate denominations and congregations in an effort to understand and prevent clergy sexual misconduct as well as to help victims, their families, and congregations.
Recommended For Survivors
Carnes, P. J. (1997). The betrayal bond: Breaking free of exploitative relationships. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc.
Although not only about clergy sexual abuse, this volume provides a framework that helps victims become survivors. Carnes explains how exploitative relationships create "betrayal bonds" when a victim bonds with someone who is destructive to him or her.
Clarion, R., Drowned in Living Water: A Congregant's Account of Spiritual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation. 2007: Empowerment Press.
This book is a firsthand account of clergy sexual misconduct. The story goes into detail about the context and process in which the misconduct occurred. The book has a chapter on prevention, which is more about aftermath, but states guidelines for the church and for the congregants.
Fortune, M. M. (1989). Is nothing sacred? When sex invades the pastoral relationship. New York: Harper & Row.
This is one of the first resources available and still one of the best. It is a moving case study of a church and its charismatic "successful" new pastor who, during a four year pastorate, involved himself sexually with a number of its female members. The circumstances included harassing phone calls in the middle of the night, rape, and seduction of those to whom he had offered care during grief and family crises. Fortune was called upon to offer counsel to and advocacy in behalf of six women who came forward in order to stop their pastor from abusing others. Evidently, there were many more victims who did not speak out. Perhaps the most frightening aspects of the story are the slow and ineffectual responses of the congregational and denominational leaders to the victims. The book provides procedures for responding to clergy sexual abuse, guidance for protecting the clergy person unjustly accused, and approaches for congregations and denominational leaders dealing with such a crisis.
Horst, E. A. (1998). Recovering the lost self: Shame-healing for victims of clergy sexual abuse. Collegeville MN: Order of St. Benedict, Inc.
This small volume published by the Order of St. Benedict in Collegeville, Minnesota, clearly defines clergy sexual abuse and operates from the premise that victims often feel lost in their relationship with God and in the human community of the church, with shame as a central feature of their victimization.
Miller, D. A. (1993). How little we knew: Collusion and confusion with sexual misconduct. Lafayette, LA: Prescott Press.
Dee Miller tells her own story of serving as an international missionary with her husband. A fellow missionary sexually assaulted her. Although she escaped physically unharmed, she was traumatized by the experience. Unlike most victims, her immediate response was to report the assault in order to protect others, although anxious about what the response would be. When she found the courage to tell her husband and the mission organization, her husband was supportive but fellow missionaries and the organization minimized her experience, sympathized and sided with the perpetrator, and attempted to cover up and silence her. How Little We Knew exposes the problems of revictimization by social networks and religious organizations that victims agree can be even more traumatizing than the initial abuse. It explains why many women intuitively seek to cover up their victimization, believing they will be discredited and shamed rather than comforted and helped.
Poling, N. W. (1999). Victim to survivor: Women recovering from clergy sexual abuse. Cleveland: United Church Press.
This is one of the most helpful books for victims. Following powerful introductions by Marie Fortune and by the editor, women tell their actual stories of being victimized by religious leaders and how they have survived. Victims can find themselves and their experiences in these stories and not feel so alone. They can also begin to embrace emotionally as well as cognitively the frame of clergy sexual abuse to understand what has happened to them.
Rutter, P. (1989). Sex in the forbidden zone. New York: Fawcett Columbine.
One of the earliest resources available is still helpful. A psychiatrist, Rutter provides case studies of men in power-therapists, doctors, clergy, teachers, mentors-who betrayed women's trust by engaging them sexually.
Schwab, C.R., Sex, Lies, and Rabbis: Breaking a Sacred Trust. 2002, Bloomington, IN: 1st Books. 278.
This book is written from the perspective of a wife of a rabbi-perpetrator. The book begins with a memoir on the author's life and the vulnerabilities that led her to become the wife of the rabbi-perpetrator. The second part of the book is composite stories told to the author about rabbi sexual abuse. A third section deals with policy changes but is mostly based on rabbinical law. The author argues that policy changes must be made to codes of conduct and gives a brief overview of definitions of abuse/abusers. The final section is a survivor's guide to recovery.
Tower, G. (2005). Fish in a barrel: A true story of sexual abuse in therapy. Salt Lake City: Millennial Mind Publishing.
This book tells the compelling, true story of a woman who falls prey to a predatory psychotherapist who sexually abuses her and wreaks havoc in her family. Left devastated and confused, she is able to take action that ultimately leaves the reader feeling that she, too, can make a difference despite victimization. Although the story is different in the details from clergy sexual abuse, and it does not involve the spiritual and religious overtones that are so central in clergy sexual abuse, this book nevertheless will be a page turner for survivors of clergy sexual abuse who find the author to be someone they can identify with and can embolden them in their own journeys of healing.
Resources for Friends and Families of Survivors
Levine, R. B. (1996). When you are the partner of a rape or incest survivor: A workbook for you. San Jose: Resource Publications, Inc.
This workbook is the only resource we found written specifically for the partner or family member of a survivor of rape or abuse. There is no resource specifically for families of women who have suffered clergy sexual abuse, but many of the dynamics are the same. Although not entirely adequate to the task of addressing the marital issues created by clergy sexual abuse, particularly the spiritual betrayal, this book can be helpful in normalizing the anger, depression, and sexual difficulties survivors and their partners experience in the wake of abuse. Perhaps the stories of husbands in this book will encourage the partners of women struggling to survive clergy sexual abuse to seek the support and professional guidance they need to help and not re-victimize as they try to find their way through the struggles of recovery.
Resources for Congregations and Community Leaders
Benyei, C. R. (1998). Understanding clergy misconduct in religious systems: Scapegoating, family secrets, and the abuse of power. New York: Haworth Pastor Press.
This resource is appropriate for clinicians attempting to understand the dynamics of victimization, and for consultants working with congregations. It describes the character disorders that manifest themselves in clergy sexual misconduct, and the devastation that results in the lives of victims.
Hopkins, N. M. (1998). The congregational response to clergy betrayals of trust. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press.
This is an excellent overview of the issue of clergy sexual abuse from the perspective of the congregation and the process of addressing the crisis and recovery process for the congregation that has suffered clergy sexual abuse.
Hopkins, N. M., & Laaser, M/ (Eds.). (1995). Restoring the soul of a church: Healing congregations wounded by clergy sexual misconduct. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press.
The volume is presented in three parts. The first section focuses on primary victims-their experiences, their healing, and their transformation into survivors. The second section addresses the experiences and healing of secondary victims. This section looks at patterns of organizational distress in congregations where clergy sexual misconduct has occurred, whether recently or in the distant past. The devastating impact on the spouses and children of offenders is also explored. The final section explores the processes of long-term healing. This volume is essential for church leaders who are faced with this crisis in their midst, including deacon boards, denominational officials, social workers and other mental health professionals, and any who find themselves helping guide a congregation through this experience. The book provides guidance on such practical issues as planning and leading meetings that inform church leaders and congregations about what has happened in their church, relating to the public and the press as the misconduct becomes known, caring for the families of offenders, and serving as an afterpastor.
Horst, E. A. (2000). Questions and answers about clergy sexual misconduct. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press.
This small volume provides an introduction to the topic of clergy sexual misconduct and clergy sexual abuse for congregations. It is written for congregations and clergy seeking to be sensitive to the needs of victims/survivors and abusive leaders. It addresses some of the most common and troublesome questions, such as, "Does this mean any sexual relationship between cleric and congregant is off limits? What if both parties are single adults?" and "Aren't clergy human? Aren't they on the same journey as the rest of us?"
McClintock, K. A. (2004). Preventing sexual abuse in congregations: A resource for leaders. Herndon, VA: The Alban Institute.
This book is written in a very accessible style for clergy and lay leaders of congregations to help congregations know how to foster healthy relationships in community life, cope with addictive behaviors, create safety in counseling and pastoral relationships, and adopt guidelines that prevent sexual abuse. This is not a volume for survivors of clergy sexual abuse, but it is a volume that will be most helpful to those consulting with congregations to help them prevent clergy sexual abuse.
Miller, D. A. (1993). How little we knew: Collusion and confusion with sexual misconduct. Lafayette, LA: Prescott Press.
Dee Miller tells her own story of serving as an international missionary with her husband. A fellow missionary sexually assaulted her. Although she escaped physically unharmed, she was traumatized by the experience. Her initial response was to remain silent until she realized that the perpetrator was victimizing others as well. When she found the courage to tell her husband and the mission organization, she found her husband to be supportive but fellow missionaries and the organization minimized her experience, sympathized and sided with the perpetrator, and attempted to cover up and silence her. How Little We Knew exposes the problems of revictimization by social networks and religious organizations that abuse victims agree can be even more traumatizing than the initial abuse. It makes clear why many women intuitively seek to cover up their victimization, believing they will find their stories met with disbelief and shaming rather than understanding, help in healing and protecting others from harm.