How do Catholic communities silence survivors?
A recorded conversation with Clare Friis on why she didn't speak, and what happened when she did.
This is a recorded conversation about abuse that occurs in Catholic communities, and how those communities respond. I spoke with Clare Friis, who was abused as a child by a parishioner in her community. Years later, she came forward to report her abuser, and also to seek accountability for her pastor who failed to do anything when she came to him. She shared her story with The Pillar, and afterwards had to suffer the loss of relationships and marginalization by her that parish. We talked about the ways that communities make it hard for victims to come forward and how they marginalize survivors after they do. We also talked about finding strength, supporting survivors, and what all this has meant for my own friendship with Clare.
This conversation includes discussion of adult themes, and also discusses sexual violence with some details. Not everyone may be in a place to listen at this time. If you listen and find yourself troubled, don’t be afraid to take a break and step away or to seek support from friends, family, or a qualified professional. Thanks for listening.
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Another story from the same parish, where an unmarried teacher was pushed out of her job because she became pregnant