14. I'm having difficulty finding professionals (like therapists and lawyers) who understand issues of professional sexual abuse. Can you help?

Sometimes finding a professional who specializes in your issues is as difficult as finding a specialist in the medical community when faced with a rather rare disease. While abuse is certainly not rare, the number of people who understand fully the collusion issues in the faith community are quite rare. You may wish to send me an e-mail. It’s possible that I know some survivor in your area who has managed to find an especially helpful person.

Another very good strategy is to find a professional who specializes in sexual and/or domestic abuse. (For male survivors, you may want a therapist who specifically understands abuse of males. You can start by talking to one who treats females, asking specifically for a referral to a therapist for male victims in your area.) Once you’ve located the professional--either attorney or therapist--you can direct them to this site to learn more about collusion in the faith community.

You may also want to explore writings on Christian fundamentalism. One such book that is excellent: Leaving the Fold. Even in mainline circles, the unacknowledged fundamentalist issues tend to surface a lot when people get under stress. And it’s because of stress that collusion gets so exacerbated.

Dee Ann Miller is the author of Enlarging Boston's Spotlight: A Call for Courage, Integrity, and Institutional Transformation (2017) How Little We Knew: Collusion and Confusion with Sexual Misconduct (1993) and The Truth about Malarkey (2000)