This is my first blog entry for the RED ROOM so I best make it good if I want repeat business.
I've been busy emailing all of the Catholic Archdioceses in America (by my count around 184) with information about my REPAIR books and The Lamplighters. As you know they've been having a lot of heartbreaking experiences with childhood sexual abuse and I'm hoping to be able to help. I'm encouraging them to start a Lamplighter Chapter in each one of their parishes and/or have those who have been abused as well as their family members to start work on the REPAIR program.
I am speaking of the enormous number of family members who live with the actual victim, the mothers whose guilt grinds them into a never ending wall of grief, the fathers who agonize over what they could have done differently, the siblings who were both grateful and ashamed for not having been targeted themselves. Sometimes they are in more pain than the actual victim; it is less apparent. It manifests itself in subtle ways. After all, their answer to a therapist's or doctor's question, "Have you ever been sexually molested?" is probably "No."
What you may not know is that one of the most frequent common denominators of childhood sexual abuse victims is that of growing up in a religiously regimented household. I'm not speaking of a spiritual environment. I'm talking about one that is built on a patriachal system that demands obedience, discourages free thinking, deprives children of the right to set their own boundaries and requires rigidity as its primary element. When you grow up in an enviromnent that lacks flexibility, you have no opportunity for growth. Those of you who have already read my REPAIR Your Life book have heard some of this before.
These problems are not limited to Catholics. There are many other religiously regimented religions that are set up on the patriarchal system, the Mormon religion is one. I plan on emailing every single Mormon branch to see if I can't help them as well. Next I'll tackle the Baptists and the Methodists and the Lutherans. I have my work cut out for me.
Pandora's Box, a website dedicated to childhood sexual abuse has chilling data; it is estimated that there are 60 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America today. With all the news lately about sex offenders and child sexual abuse a solution for how to heal the survivors of this heinous crime is needed. Victims of child sexual abuse come in all religions, all nationalities, all ages, and all backgrounds. Child sexual abuse has no color or religious prejudice, targets no special income group and plays favorite with neither male nor female. Child sexual abuse has no color or religious prejudice, targets no special income group, and plays favorite with neither male nor female.