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Survivor Stories

"Speak the truth in a thousand voices;
it is only Silence that kills."

  -- Catherine of Sienna


"Several pastors and more than one church covered up my husband's activities.... The fruit of that secrecy was many more young boys being assaulted...."

Brenda from KY


"You can't imagine the number of people I spoke to during ministry who were going on staff at a church where a predator had just left... and nothing had been done."

Former Baptist minister


"Of course, Tina received no counseling at all because it was too risky. Someone might find out."

Three Baptist ministers and my Niece

Anonymous in South Carolina

"The deacon told me that Christians don't take Christians to court."

Ben Marsh


"You learn to doubt yourself and your perception of reality."

Phyllis Gregory


"I was twice betrayed - first by my perpetrator and then by a church system that attempted to cover up the abuse."



"I fear I will never feel safe again."



"I am a Southern Baptist pastor...I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse."



"I still suffer from the symptoms of PTSD and have survived two suicide attempts."

Mark Holdbrooks


"He was ironically elected by some civic organization as 'father of the year'. I could have puked."

Kristen S.


"It was like trying to piece together a puzzle with my brain in a fog and that teenager inside me fighting tooth and nail to hold on to all her protective mechanisms."


North Carolina

"It reaches out its ugly tentacles to grasp and shatter your beliefs, and affects not only the victims but their family members as well."



Daughter: "I couldn't believe that my mother was so blind and stupid to trust this Predator."

Mother: "I couldn't believe I had been so blind and manipulated by the perpetrator." 

Mother and Daughter


"I could go on and on about the little details that I remember and how they have haunted me, but that due to their insignificance in your mind you probably don't recall."



"I was told to go before the church and confess that I was a pregnant - unwed - teenage girl and to ask their forgiveness. However, I was told NOT to tell who the father was....I did as I was told."

Debbie Vasquez


"As a child you think you are the only victim and you feel somehow responsible."


South Carolina

"The head pastor did find out about the abuse and all he did was tell him to look for another job....The head pastor told me to never discuss it again."



"I lost my virginity, my dignity, my innocence on the couch in the pastor's office at 15 years old....If I'm willing to bear my soul in this way...why won't the church embrace me as a child of God, listen, and use my experience to help others?"

Susan D.


"Churches are scary places when allegations are covered up, leadership turns a blind eye, and nothing is done to stop predators...."

Kaye Maher


"The day I first looked clergy sex abuse in the eye was the loneliest day I have ever experienced."

Allison Moran