Abuse of any form is a traumatic experience. The repercussions of such actions take years to unpick, and some people never truly feel as though they recover after the fact. For anyone who has been a victim of clergy abuse, even though the memories cannot be erased, there are healing paths for a more positive future filled with healing and support. This guide has five essential steps for clergy abuse victims.
File a Police Report
Speaking about your victim’s journey is a difficult thing. However, when you feel in the mental space to speak out and speak up, the law will be supportive and listen to what you have to say. Of course, you won’t find justice immediately. There will be an investigation that will feel quite raw and dive into areas you might not be comfortable with. However, this is the only official route to bringing those who harmed you to the proper appropriate consequences for their actions.
Therapy is easy for some people and difficult for others. Whether you are a gifted conversationalist or a naturally quiet person who prefers solitude and quietness, therapy is a positive avenue to find your inner healing journey and set it free. A professional therapist with relevant experience will be able to hold your metaphorical hand as you move forward through figuring out what happened to you and how it shapes your present and will shape your future too. There is a long road ahead, so it is essential to find the best support network possible to keep you motivated during recovery.
Find Expert Representation
Another essential professional avenue for your peace of mind will be an expert clergy abuse attorney. They will stand by your side gathering evidence and supporting your claim. They will work with you to ascertain the events and seek justice on your behalf against the people who abused you. It is essential to find someone well-suited to this particular niche of the law as it is quite narrow and a difficult space to navigate. Specific legal skills are non-negotiable, and you must feel comfortable sharing and be represented by the person you pick too. This will be an intimate journey, after all.
Join a Support Group
For yourself, it is good to have multiple channels of support. While you might feel able to talk to family or friends about what you’ve been through, there is an irreplaceable connection to be found in people who have been through something similar. This is where a support group for clergy abuse victims comes into play, and there are often groups such as this in the local area if you look on local community sites and notice boards.
Accept There Will be Hard Days
Don’t be too harsh with yourself when it all feels too much. Your mental health will be naturally affected by what you’ve been through. Healing takes as long as it takes and is different for every single person walking around on the planet.
Being a victim of abuse can leave you feeling a mixture of emotions. There are ways forward if you have the right team around you, so when you feel ready, take action!