Clergy sexual misconduct is rampant, hidden, and destructive to victims. When women are abused or mistreated by clergy, they may experience severe trauma, loss of faith, and other devastating consequences.
Protect yourself from clergy sexual misconduct by reading the 3 tips that Dave Gemmel gives to listeners on this episode of the free BTR podcast. Dave Gemmel is the associate director of the NAD Ministerial Association, and a fierce advocate for victims of abuse.
Tune in to the free BTR podcast and read the full transcript below for more.
Protect Yourself From Clergy Sexual Misconduct By Bringing A "Safe" Friend
Many women in faith-communities seek counsel and help from clergy regarding their partners' infidelity and abusive behavior.
To protect themselves from both clergy sexual misconduct and receiving damaging counsel, Anne advises women to take a safe person with them every time they meet with clergy.
If you’re going into clergy to report your husband’s abuse, whether it’s his porn use, sexual coercion, or any type of emotional or psychological abuse, always take another woman with you who understands abuse.Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery
Protect Yourself From Clergy Sexual Misconduct By Having Boundaries For Communication
Dave Gemmel, expert on Clergy Sexual Misconduct, urges women to hold clergy accountable by setting boundaries for communicating.
Keep messaging professional.Dave Gemmel, associate director of the NAD Ministerial Association
Whether you communicate with your clergy over text messages, emails, phone calls, letters, video messaging, or face-to-face communication, you can practice safe communication.
Here are some ways to keep messaging professional and safe:
* Always use group messaging to text clergy * Use speaker phone and have another person in the room when having phone conversations with clergy* Try to meet in a public place, with a supportive friend, when meeting face-to-face with clergy* If you are meeting in a pastor's office, make sure the door is open and bring along a safe friend
Clergy Is For Spiritual Support, NOT Marriage Counseling
Most pastors and other religious leaders are not trained in therapy, counseling, abuse, or trauma. Because of that, it is essential that congregants do not use clergy as a marriage counselor or a mental health therapist. Victims can seek spiritual support from clergy if they feel it is necessary to their healing.
Even Dave Gemmel, who has taken courses in marriage/family counseling does not offer marital or family counseling to parishioners:
Don’t go to your pastor for marital counseling. Honestly, I have my doctorate and I do not consider I have enough education to do marriage counseling or family counseling. I’ve had two courses in it, maybe three, and if I begin to start practicing that I am practicing outside of my knowledge-base and I am bound to be giving some stupid advice. I’d rather not do that.Dave Gemmel, associate director of the NAD Ministerial Association
Betrayal Trauma Recovery Supports Victims of Clergy Sexual Misconduct