Title

"It Was Like Double Damage": An Exploration of Clergy-Perpetrated Sexual Abuse, Institutional Betrayal, and Posttraumatic Growth

Presentation Type

Poster

Faculty Advisor

Jennifer Brown Urban

Access Type

Event

Start Date

26-4-2023 9:45 AM

End Date

26-4-2023 10:44 AM

Description

This study examines the relationship between institutional responses to reports of clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse of adult women and the survivor’s level of posttraumatic growth, current spirituality, current religious commitment, well-being, and flourishing. The experience of adult women abused by clergy is not well-researched and know; this study seeks to highlight those experiences to the extent possible. This study utilized a mixed methods approach wherein surveys were collected and then follow up interviews were conducted with ten participants to further illustrate the experiences of the participants. All participants experienced some level of institutional betrayal which left lasting impacts on their ability to achieve posttraumatic growth, and their levels of spirituality, religious commitment, general well-being and flourishing. The findings suggest how a religious institution responds to reports of sexual abuse of adult women can make a difference in how that survivor experiences their life post-reporting of abuse. Interview participants shared recommendations for ways in which they felt institutions could better respond to reports of clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse. These findings support the need for additional research on institutional responses to reports of sexual abuse of adults by religious institutions.

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Apr 26th, 9:45 AM Apr 26th, 10:44 AM

"It Was Like Double Damage": An Exploration of Clergy-Perpetrated Sexual Abuse, Institutional Betrayal, and Posttraumatic Growth

This study examines the relationship between institutional responses to reports of clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse of adult women and the survivor’s level of posttraumatic growth, current spirituality, current religious commitment, well-being, and flourishing. The experience of adult women abused by clergy is not well-researched and know; this study seeks to highlight those experiences to the extent possible. This study utilized a mixed methods approach wherein surveys were collected and then follow up interviews were conducted with ten participants to further illustrate the experiences of the participants. All participants experienced some level of institutional betrayal which left lasting impacts on their ability to achieve posttraumatic growth, and their levels of spirituality, religious commitment, general well-being and flourishing. The findings suggest how a religious institution responds to reports of sexual abuse of adult women can make a difference in how that survivor experiences their life post-reporting of abuse. Interview participants shared recommendations for ways in which they felt institutions could better respond to reports of clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse. These findings support the need for additional research on institutional responses to reports of sexual abuse of adults by religious institutions.