Find your local SNAP chapter and events. View the ground rules for support group meetings.
Make a report to the attorney general of your state. Many are investigating clergy abuse and you can make a report to aid in their ongoing investigation.
SNAP recommended books, everything ranging from investigative reports, psychological healing, and books written by survivors. SNAP also posts a story of the day, current events and motivational articles on a regular basis. Click here for an inspirational article about how it's never too late to report sexual assault.
What Makes Adults Vulnerable?
- Desire for community, connection, belonging Belief that church is a safe place
- Culture of submission, especially for women
- Life circumstances (season of transition, loss, isolation, etc) Desire for a spiritual mentor
- Victim’s belief that he/she is bad or more sinful than other
- Acknowledge your courage. It takes courage to acknowledge that we’ve been abused and it is not easy to even admit it to ourselves. Just looking at this web site is a big step.
- Know that you are not alone. There are many more survivors of abuse by priests, and other clergy members, than any of us wants to believe. One study from University of Chicago estimates that there are probably about 100,000 survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the U.S. Most of us believed that we were the only victim of the priest that abused us. Over time we have learned that there is rarely, if ever, only one victim.
What are they?
Flashbacks are memories of past traumas. They may take the form of pictures, sounds, smells, body sensations, feelings or the lack of them (numbness). Many times there is no actual visual or auditory memory. One may have the sense of panic, being trapped, feeling powerless with no memory stimulating it. These experiences can also happen in dreams.
It can be a daunting task to begin looking for a therapist to assist in the journey of recovery from sexual abuse. It may be difficult to know what to ask, what not to ask, what are generally appropriate treatment parameters, etc. Since it is important to work with someone you trust, as well as someone you "click" with, these guidelines may be helpful in selecting the right person for you.
Making a report of the abuse you have experienced is an important step in the journey towards healing and justice, but taking this step can be incredibly challenging. This article provides expert advice and information that can be used by survivors who want to make a report, but are worried about the process or aftermath.
It can be challenging for victims to come forward and grapple with their abuse publicly. This story by Chanel Miller, a rape survivor, is an example of courage in the face of pain and can be inspirational to survivors who are struggling with their own feelings of their abuse and how others will react to those feelings.