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My Thanksgiving Wish for Survivors of Sexual Abuse

By November 19, 2012June 19th, 2020No Comments

In the wake of our release of the Boy Scouts’ Perversion Files last month, many abuse survivors are once again confronted with the reality of crimes committed against them, often many years ago.  Many of those who contact me are now middle-aged and have suffered throughout their lives.  The suffering they relate to me is clearly connected to the traumatic sexual abuse they suffered as children or teenagers.  In most cases, the suffering is compounded because it occurred within the confines of a faith community such as the Mormon (Latter Day Saints) Church or the Catholic Church.  I mention these churches in particular because both denominations are hierarchical and tightly organized which seems to make it more difficult for Mormon or Catholic abuse survivors to come forward and get help.  The Mormon connection to the Boy Scouts has a long history and is quite vibrant, especially in the western United States.  Those survivors who were abused by a Boy Scout leader and whose troop was sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints often feel as if their abuse was compounded because the abuse involved both institutions of trust-the Boy Scouts and the Mormon Church.  Such trauma can lead to a lifetime of dysfunction, addiction, and broken lives.  While the release of the Perversion Files forces survivors to confront the abuse once again, I am hoping that it will also lead them to seek the professional help which they’ve avoided for most of their lives.  Healing can be slow and painful.  Yet, the painful process can lead to a new life of opportunity filled with grace and health.  That is surely my hope this week of Thanksgiving.