4. Am I wrong to insist that my perpetrator needs to be held responsible?

Certainly not, but you may be expecting more than the community of faith is willing to encourage or support. For more insights, see this article on parallels.

A related question here that occasionally comes is whether or not it is okay or "Christian" to sue the church or a perpetrator. I answer with another question: Why should the church be above the law, just because it chooses to think that it is? Using the court systems is certainly not unethical if that's what it takes to get the message across. Sad that it does, isn't it?

The vast majority of survivors assume, as I once would have, that seeking legal advise in the beginning is unnecessary when dealing with family or church. Systems that genuinely care about you will not discourage you from going outside the system.

NEVER assume that leaders of a church or denomination are going to put your needs and interests above the needs and interests of the system! I repeat: NEVER NEVER assume this. In the end, even very good friends tend to cower to the system. Only the most exceptional do not, and every survivor wants to believe herself to be a part of the exception--another fatal error. Naivety abounds, and that's exactly what the system is counting on you to be!



www.takecourage.org by Dee Ann Miller, author of two books on the topic of sexual abuse by clergy: How Little We Knew: Collusion and Confusion with Sexual Misconduct and The Truth about Malarkey.