After receiving  a disclosure of sexual abuse  

A Guide for Pastors - protocols and Pastoral Care.

Let us trust God

               to work everything for good

even that which was intended for evil.

                            Romans 8 v 28.

the threat

Don't tell anyone

Don't talk about it



see below

until then forgiveness is convoluted

how can I forgive someone if I am carrying their guilt?

how could I forgive myself for another's crime ?


When I return the guilt

then I can forgive the abuser who carried their guilt.


Fear of what others will think

We've dealt with it

no need to talk about it.



I can't face it.

It takes courage to face

that there are:

hurt people

vicarious trauma

betrayed people


who need to talk to work it through.

the other barrier

for the barier yet to surface

and the barrier you face that I was not aware of


during sexual abuse, particularly child sexual abuse

it is not uncommon for the abuser to lay his or her or their guilt on the victim.

If I  one of us was walking down the street and noticed the person walking ahead of us droped say a $29 note

       would we pick it up and keep it?

no. it is not ours.

          we would call out or run up to the person who dropped their $20 mote and return it to them

              "you dropped your $20 note.  here it is"

  likewise survivors ought to give back the guilt to it's rightful owner  - the abuser.




comulative and recurring resurfacing of the story of the sexual abuse

In 1871 a certain member of the clergy was accused of  molesting his teenage nurse.

The case went to court

after his exercise of legal abuse

he was not convicted.

     His assistant wanted to talk about it.  He was silenced.

    bearing the weight of an intolerable situation

in a Colony with few options

   he numed his pain with alcohol


the accused used this to defame him as being depressed and an alcoholic.

yet the assistant continued his duties.

     it is a complex historical series of cumulative events.


 huge amounts of energy are consumed attempting to maintain the silence


 but justice cries out in the streets.


     It's very obvious the elephant is still in the room 150 years later.


conceiling crime doesn't pay

neither does conceiling allegeed crime

the wave of vicarious trauma has only increased over time

as has the cumulative impacts - too complex to write here as it would destract from the main point.


    for those who have the courage to face the events of history

the relief of talking about it

exceeds the drain of the energy used to keep the silence.