Clergy Sexual Misconduct

Dear Network:

I received this from WLUML (Women Living Under Muslim Laws) some time ago.  ….   Then we were watching the events unfold in Texas as Raymond Jessop was tried and convicted; so, this important study got pushed aside.

In reviewing this study tonight, I have decided to send it out.  We have many clergy members on this network.  We also have many women who either as women or young girls were the victims of men who had religious authoritative powers over them.


From: WLUML []
Sent: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 7:43 AM
To: Nancy Mereska
Subject: Fyi: Clergy Sexual Misconduct – Awareness & Prevention – Gender

Baylor University USA

Virtually all the studies of clergy sexual misconduct have been clinical, focusing on the motives of offenders, the dynamics of the abusive relationship, and the devastating consequences for primary and secondary victims. Understanding these dynamics is vitally important for those professionals faced with intervention and treatment of offenders, survivor and their families, and congregations.

There is virtually no research or information to inform prevention strategies, which is the primary purpose of our study. Clergy sexual misconduct occurs across faith groups and communities and occurs so commonly that we need to understand why and how our communities of faith allow it to continue to happen. As believing and worshiping people, we have responsibility to ensure that our communities of faith are truly sanctuaries-safe places-to all who enter in. Explore this site to find out what we have learned about preventing clergy sexual misconduct.

Resources for your use:
We have prepared several documents to help you learn more about clergy sexual misconduct with adults, prevention strategies, a sample code of ethics for your congregation, and much more.

Dual Relationships when Clergy Counsel Congregants

Case Studies

Ongoing studies:
The ongoing clergy sexual misconduct project is entering a new phase where we want to explore more about the contextual factors involved with CSM itself and how survivors have moved forward. If you are a survivor of clergy sexual misconduct, or have a family member who is, and are interested in helping researchers further understand this issue, we invite you to e-mail us and put in subject line “survivor”*. We will keep your contact information confidential, and you may use a pseudonym if you prefer.

In addition, if you are a treatment provider who has worked with a survivor of CSM we want to hear about your experiences in helping survivors heal. We invite you to leave us your contact information also and in the subject line please put “treatment”*.

Our contact e-mail for this project is

Clergy Sexual Misconduct



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