Listening to survivors who have experienced abuse in the Church is central to Awake Milwaukee’s mission. We know that many survivors have struggled alone for years without support or acknowledgement from fellow Catholics, and we’re committed to changing that. This Saturday, November 7, is All Survivors’ Day, a day to recognize survivors of sexual abuse, bring their stories into the light, raise awareness of the widespread nature of the issue, and organize for change in the culture that allows sexual abuse to continue. Awake Milwaukee is proud to join organizations from around the world in supporting this event.
As hard as it can be to hear stories of abuse by Church leaders, we believe strongly that listening to victim-survivors is a sacred act. Below we’ve linked to the eight Survivor Stories we’ve shared on the Awake Blog over the last ten months, and we invite you to read them. We’ll share these posts on our Facebook page on All Survivors’ Day this Saturday. Please consider sharing them with friends, a simple way to spread awareness and compassion.
As hard as it can be to hear stories of abuse by Church leaders, we believe strongly that listening to victim-survivors is a sacred act.
Awake’s Survivor Stories
• Deacon Larry Normann tells of his abuse in the seminary, and how he found solace in Scripture.
• Psychotherapist Patricia Gallagher Marchant shares her story of assault by a parish priest when she was seven, and what she would like Catholics in the pews to know about abuse in the Church.
• Jerri von den Bosch of the Awake Leadership Team writes a moving letter to her mother, a survivor of clergy abuse.
• Abused by her parish priest as a teen, former parish director Jan Ruidl imagines what the Church might say to victim-survivors.
• Wendy Liedtke describes how she learned of her husband’s abuse by a priest, 33 years into their marriage, and her struggle to find support as a secondary survivor.
• Groomed and assaulted as an adult by a deacon, “Anne” shares what unfolded when she tried to report this to Church officials.
• Ty Linn shows how his nephew’s abuse as a teenager by a Norbertine priest affected three generations of his family.
• After her abuse by popular Catholic composer David Haas, music minister Margaret Hillman describes the traumatic pain of singing his music at Mass, years later.