Sex Abuse Of Minors In Religious Communities
It’s widely believed that young children face the threat of being sexually assaulted or exploited in many different communities or organizations. Nevertheless, there are some aspects and dynamics that exist in religious associations which appear to increase the likelihood of this kind of abuse.
For instance, in church groups, children are widely taught to obey, respect, and honor priests and other religious leaders without hesitation. This power dynamic makes it increasingly difficult for victims to speak out against their aggressors. The difficulty stems from the victim’s fear of being punished as well as the worry that their claims will not be believed. In some cases, victims may even be too young to comprehend the severity of the trespassing.
Religious communities also tend to be distant from the rest of society. This isolation can foster environments in which abuse is swept under the rug if it is ever mentioned at all.