This two-day seminar is a unique opportunity to learn about a hidden problem and seldom discussed issue, a true taboo in our midst: sexual abuse in the church. Available statistical information demonstrates that abuse against women is a rampant global phenomenon. It is estimated that every third woman experiences violence among the people and settings she trusts the most. Included in this safe context is the church, often her very own congregation.
What happens to a person who has been sexually assaulted by her clergy or other respected congregants? What happens to the church leader who is involved in taking sexual advantage of his church members and worshipers?
Systematic research and resource materials – both – are severely lacking regarding the above questions. For one, victims are afraid and ashamed to talk about what happened to them. Second, perpetrators, whether laypersons or staff, fear getting caught, and, thus, do their utmost to keep their deeds a hidden secret. Third, churches are reluctant to tarnish their image in the community where they are respected as a pillar of strength and wisdom. Thus denial and secrecy keep this epidemic flourishing.
We at the Sisu Advantage have determined to grapple with this multi-faceted, complex, and yet so inescapable and compelling topic. The issue is one of a personal passion for our CEO Dr. Mitsutomi, who in her youth experienced several incidents of sexual abuse by Christian adult men in various denominational and international contexts. She is no stranger to the fact sexual assault causes serious psychological trauma. In many cases, it takes a lifetime to heal from this type of assault.
In addition to continuing to seek deep healing in her own life, Dr. Mitsutomi, together with the entire organization with its affiliates, spearheads efforts to educate, inform, teach, assist, and help heal affected persons and systems.
We at the nonprofit Sisu Advantage promote cooperation and collaboration between organizations and individuals who are interested in addressing and preventing sexual abuse in their particular targeted areas of interest.
The Seminar on Revealing Sexual Abuse in the Church is offered for the first time on the East Coast by experts in academia, counseling, therapy, and Christian ministry. Please, note, that this event is non-denominational. The seminar is designed for laypersons, volunteers, ministry personnel, abuse victims, and any other concerned citizens, affected by this hidden, pervasive and yet ever so hidden secret truth. The seminar on the second day concludes by offering suggested strategies and tools for self-healing and/or for the development of group guidance in enhancing victim recovery.
Participating in this seminar are the following experts: