Clergy abuse victims hesitate to speak up


Oct. 30, 2019

I would like to explain why it can take so long for victims of priest sex abuse to come forward [“Suit accusing McGann raises questions,” Letters, Oct. 27]. It’s common for a victim to come forward at age 52. It can take years to overcome a life shattered by abuse that occurred when the victim was a child, especially when the abuser was a priest. The victim is often groomed by the abuser, feels shame and trauma, and does not feel safe to speak up, even to family. Many victims feel that they won’t be believed because the truth is so heinous.

Mary McKenna, Bellmore

Editor’s note: The writer, a retired social worker, leads a monthly group meeting in Bellmore of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

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