“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 18:10
A Letter to the Survivors of clergy sex abuse:
Many of you have hidden in the shadows for decades, frayed to the bone by the trauma, shamed by the monstrously brutal assault, robbed of your innocence, your faith, and your God given potential. The seemingly random targeting by a predator, cloaked in a Roman collar, left you bereft of your senses and strength.
For many, the assault ravaged your once bright future full of promise and dreams. He not only stole your innocence, but absconded with your life, your talents, and your hopes. That moment is frozen in time, a demarcation defined by the words, “this is when everything changed for me.”
The rage you experienced was not turned on the powerful predator, but on to yourself. Many of you turned to alcohol, drugs, and assorted reckless conduct, addictions and criminality to numb the unrelenting gnawing pain of memories. Once a soaring athlete and successful student, suddenly overnight, the abuse ended all your personal success. You were stopped in your tracks, flailing for help, muzzled by shame and threats. “No one would believe me if I told them.” Even when you spoke up, you were rebuffed, discounted, or disbelieved. Your abuser exercised the most potent power, spiritual power. You were utterly helpless to battle this demon.
Shame corrodes everything, dreams, plans, relationships, and esteem. It robbed you of your voice, your will and your reason.
Now is the time to reclaim your long-lost power and come out of the shadows and name your demon, be he dead or alive, be he powerful or lowly. This unrelenting evil plague of clerical abusers can only be vanquished by you, its victim survivors.
You are no longer alone. Your rage is our rage. We will not rest until every last dastardly one is exposed and brought to justice.
It is time to speak truth to power.
Call the Attorney General where your abuse occurred
Elizabeth Yore is an attorney who has investigated clerical sex abuse cases.