Anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse or other acts of violence at the hands of an adult or authority figure in their life has a fear of authority. However, when the abuser is a clergy member, this can add to a victim’s distrust of authority figures and may cause them to have confusion concerning God. Clergy abuse can negatively affect a person’s personal relationship with God and their affiliation and activities with the church. In some cases, it may cause them to turn away from the church altogether.
Victims of clergy abuse share many of the same issues and traits as other victims of sexual abuse. Survivors of sexual abuse often have issues with trust and this can cause relationship issues as well as broken relationships. They have trouble having fun and often suffer from depression and anxiety. The depression and anxiety can lead to thoughts of suicide as well as actual suicide. Survivors of sexual abuse often live in extremes and have trouble keeping balance in their lives.
Counseling for Victims of Clergy Abuse in Atlanta, Georgia. Many survivors have trouble parenting their own children because they have never been exposed to a functional and loving model of parenthood. Many survivors of sexual abuse live with shame and guilt and blame themselves for their abuse. The emotional damage caused by sexual abuse can lead to psychosomatic illnesses such as ulcers, migraines and panic attacks. It can also lead to sleep disorders, alcohol and drug dependency, rage, fear and phobias, codependency and eating disorders. These are just some of the indicators of sexual abuse that can result from clergy abuse. There are many more.
Dr. McDonald and the caring staff at The Rest of the Journey provide professional, clinical counseling from a Christian perspective. We offer individual and group counseling as well as five-day restorative retreats designed to help survivors of clergy abuse to process old hurts and feelings, reconcile their spiritual confusion, regain their balance in life and find inner peace.
If you are a survivor of clergy abuse, we can help. Please contact The Rest of The Journey today so you can begin your journey to emotional health.
Dr. Karen McDonald
Dr. Karen McDonald is the author of Racheal’s Rest’s BLOGS. These BLOGS are thoughts, tools and experiences that Karen wanted to share with you and are in no way “counseling”. If you, or someone you know, has been the victim of sexual abuse, sex trafficking and/or domestic violence issues, contact us today to get more information about Racheal’s Rest private counseling, workshops and retreats to begin your journey to emotional health.