Priest abuse is physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of any kind by a priest. It may have taken place recently or many years ago, involving one person or several people.
When someone has been hurt in this way, they are not alone. They can get support regardless of whether the abuser is still alive, still in the priesthood, or has already left the priesthood.
Priest abuse is not unique to the Catholic Church, but it happens in other Christian denominations.
What does it entail?
- Physical abuse occurs when a priest hits someone, causes them to fall over, or pushes them against a wall. It can also include slapping and punching another person’s face, arms, legs, or back.
- Physical abuse can also involve forcing someone to do hard physical labor for long hours without proper food or rest. It may even include making someone work until they are on the point of exhaustion.
- Emotional abuse is when a priest puts someone down, calls them names, makes them feel worthless and useless or continually humiliates them. It can also mean that a priest frightens someone by shouting, threatening them with violence, or locking them up for a long time in a confined space.
- Sexual abuse occurs when a priest makes someone have sexual contact with him or forces himself on someone sexually without their consent. Sexual abuse may include moving someone to watch pornographic videos, participating in sexual activity with the abuser or someone else, or posing for pornographic pictures. You can know about this from an orange county priest abuse list, and all the details will help open your eyes.
How widespread is it?
The extent of priest abuse is not known because the Church has not always had a good understanding of what “priest abuse” means, at least in some parts of the world. Also, some priests have been trying to keep their crimes secret.
Particularly in developing countries, priests still do not know that it is a severe problem for children to be hurt or abused by priests.
What is abuse?
It can be hard to define what counts as child abuse. Generally speaking, however, child abuse occurs when a person uses their power over another person to make them do something they don’t want to do. It can be anything from touching someone inappropriately to making them take part in sexual activity against their will.
What does “power” mean?
People have power over one another when they are in a position of authority. Similarly, parents control their children because they are older and because society gives them the right to look after their child’s well-being.
What else should you know?
It is essential to understand that it is never your fault if someone has abused you. The person who did the abuse has made a choice, and they alone are responsible for making it. Similarly, there is no excuse for abuse, and the person who abuses another person must be held accountable for their actions.
It is never too late to report abuse and get the help you need – no matter how long ago it happened or who the abuser was (although different reporting rules apply if your abuser is now a bishop).
The most effective way to prevent it from happening in the future is for abusers and those who tolerate their behavior (including bishops) to be held accountable for their actions.