Clergy Sexual Misconduct

The following resources are specific to clergy sexual misconduct of adults:

The Well From Which We Drink is Poisoned: Clergy Sexual Exploitation of Adult Women 

Margaret Kennedy’s thesis submitted in partial fullfillment of the requirements of PH.D at London Metropolitan University. You must create an account to download this document. This process is free of charge and well worth your time and effort.

Stephen de Weger – Researcher of Clergy Sexual Misconduct Involving Adults

Stephen’s goal is to work for ‘truth, justice and healing’ for the forgotten victims/survivors of this more hidden expression of clergy sexual misconduct, but beginning with, to quote a Morris West character, those who are or have been in ‘the bloodied dust’ rather than from the higher echelons of Church leadership, who, based on his experience of them, rarely fully/personally grasp such things. To this end, four years ago, he chose to research this issue based on surveys and interviews of victims/survivors, and then to write about his findings based on their experiences. He completed his Master of Justice (Research) degree entitled “Clerical sexual misconduct involving adults within the Roman Catholic Church”. His thesis can be sourced here: https://eprints.qut.edu.au/96038/

(The Late) Diana Garland, Baylor University – Clergy Sexual Misconduct Awareness & Prevention

    • More than 3% of women who had attended a congregation in the past month reported that they had been the object of CSM at some time in their adult lives;
    • 92% of these sexual advances had been made in secret, not in open dating relationships; and
    • 67% of the offenders were married to someone else at the time of the advance.
    • In the average American congregation of 400 persons, with women representing, on average, 60% of the congregation, there are, on average of 7 women who have experienced clergy sexual misconduct.
    • Of the entire sample, 8% report having known about CSM occurring in a congregation they have attended. Therefore, in the average American congregation of 400 congregants, there are, on average, 32 persons who have experienced CSM in their community of faith.

The Silent Majority: Adult Victims of Sexual Exploitation by Clergy 

“Although clergy of any denomination can sexually exploit children, teens, men, or women, many experts estimate that over 95% of victims of sexual exploitation by clergy are adult women.

Adult victims of sexual exploitation by clergy often don’t see themselves as victims. Without wider public awareness of the extent and impacts of this form of sexual violence, adults who have been sexually victimized by a beloved priest, pastor, minister, rabbi or other clergy will remain the “silent majority” of clergy sexual abuse victims, suffering in their shame and self-isolation.” – Gary Schoener

Clergy Sexual Abuse of Women: A Specialized Form of Trauma By: Kathyrn A. Flynn 

“This study was designed to examine the possibility o f trauma in the lives of women who were sexually abused by clergy. Interpersonal violence in religious settings is not easily understood because methodological research issues make the problem difficult to accurately assess. Anecdotal literature likens clergy sexual abuse to familial incest. Therefore, the following research question was considered: Is a trauma model a valid theoretical construct with which to study women sexually abused by clergy? In what ways is the model informed by clergy specific factors?”

Clergy Sexual Abuse: A Bibliography of Selected Resources Related to Clergy Sexual Abuse 

A bibliography of related texts.

When Ministers Sin By: Neil & Thea Omerod

The Hope of Survivors

Support groups, hope and healing for victims of pastoral sexual abuse.

Diane Langberg PH.D.

Practicing psychologist and international speaker working with trauma survivors, caregivers and clergy around the world. Diane and her collegues deal with survivors of all types of trauma, inclusing but not limited to child sexual abuse, sexual violence and clergy sexual misconduct.

Survivor Bloggers (US)

Dee Parsons – The Wartburg Watch 

Julie Anne Smith – Spiritual Sounding Board 

Amy Smith – Watchkeep