Those violated in spaces of worship are often affected psychologically, spiritually

Abuse in ‘holy’ houses of healing

During these 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, we are once again reminded of how some of society’s most vulnerable continue to experience abuse, often at the hands of those they trust. It is estimated that over 40% of women in South Africa will be victims of rape in their lifetime. Unfortunately, places of worship contribute to this statistic.

Instead of finding healing, comfort and refuge in worship environments, some women and children are left sexually abused and broken. Trusted spiritual leaders who are meant to help congregants grow spiritually sometimes leave them feeling traumatised. These acts, which are perpetrated by individuals, have sadly ensued a growing distrust and betrayal in society. Like many victims, those who are abused within worship spaces often face detrimental psychological effects...

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