7. I'm a pastor who has suffered much persecution from my own colleagues and congregants when I tried to see that an abuser was held accountable. Can you help me find support?

I can put you in touch with other pastors who have suffered much the same as you. So many who have contacted me, however, have isolated themselves and fear talking to others. They’ve found it very difficult to stay in ministry and just “get on with life.” This is a very hidden group of people who have suffered for righteousness sake.

Serious depression, sometimes as bad as any I’ve seen in direct survivors, is quite common. So do the resulting faith crises, and I've known men and women who have totally left the ministry because of the persecution they've sustained. This is truly dangerous work, as my story "The Power of One Story" illustrates.

Please study the materials on this site and e-mail me if you wish to seek connections or just reach out for personal support. Above all, try to avoid internalizing what you've experienced in the backlash, impossible as that may seem. It's really not about what you've done wrong. It's about what you've done right, even if you feel you've made some errors in judgment about the way you may have gone about it. Chances are, those errors were because you were in a double-bind created by the circumstances. Please be kind to yourself and reach out of your old circles. Validation will likely come faster than you can imagine by doing so.



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.