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Sexual abuse is a tragic &
life-changing ordeal to go through. But it does not define the victim.

The unique challenges for victims of sexual abuse by nuns

The sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church has generated much public discussion in recent years. There is an aspect of it though that has not gotten as much attention. This is abuse committed by nuns.

Survivors of such abuse have expressed concerns that there is a significant lack of awareness regarding sexual misconduct by nuns. This issue of lower societal awareness can pose major challenges for survivors. For one, it can make speaking out about abuse and reaching out for help more difficult.

This is one of the many things that can pose unique challenges for victims of nun abuse. Examples of other things survivors of such abuse can encounter difficulties in are:

  • Getting accountability: Often, when it comes to abuse allegations involving nuns and other members of religious orders, complaints have been handled by the order in question, rather than the local diocese. This can create added complexities for victims when it comes to getting justice.
  • Getting support: Many compensation programs run by local dioceses have typically only provided support for victims of abuse by parish priests, not by members of religious orders.

Now, there has been recent movement when it comes to church policy on claims of abuse by nuns or other religious order members. Under the Vatican's new guidelines on sexual abuse, such complaints are among those that are required to be reported to church leadership. One wonders what impacts such shifts will have on victims of nun abuse.

When any victim of sexual abuse is encountering special challenges in getting what they need to move forward in their recovery, it can be key for them to have a committed advocate on their side. This is among the important roles that survivors' rights attorneys can serve for victims of abuse.

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