After receiving  a disclosure of sexual abuse  

A Guide for Pastors - protocols and Pastoral Care.

a wave of vicarious trauma

  Although we live in a society where many are alone,

and indeed many feel left out

some feel alone in the crowd

  We still live in communities.

In fact our disconectedness from the fragmentation of:

  • living in one suburb
  • children may go to a school in another suburb
  • the beach may be 90 min away
  • we may drive to a regional shopping centre to shop
  • our cousins may live in different  suburbs or cities or states or countries
  • social media has established international links.

 so although we have fragmented social conections

  When it comes to learning about a disclosure of sexual abuse

the networks of those with a connection to the survivor or survivors

    and those the accused had direct or indirect contact with

    becomes an ever widening circle of connections.

a wave of vicarious trauma

   and that's those who need to know

     meanwhile gossip spreads.


the wave of vicarious trauma rolls along with a life of it's own.

 One can :

  • ride the wave
  • jump over the wave ( if it's not too high)
  • dive through the wave ( without hitting the sand under the wave)
  • you can ( if in shallow water) watch it roll past

but you can't stop the wave.

in the past institutions attempted to maintain a code of silence.

but the instances of sexual abuse and the cover up ended up in the courts

   and Royal Commissions.


apart from the obligations of Mandatory Reporting

those directly and the ever widening circle of those indirectly affected

and those who may have been affected

need to know.


I have written a site  Processing Vicarious Trauma  which may be of assistance.


     Let us remember the Lord is with us in our  most difficult days

     The Blessing was recorded during the 2020 pandemic restrictions