Organization talks about sex abuse problems in churches - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Organization talks about sex abuse problems in churches

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The Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests is an entire network of professionals who aim to help victims of child sexual abuse. The Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests is an entire network of professionals who aim to help victims of child sexual abuse.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The case of child sexual abuse at a Muscle Shoals church is certainly not the first incident to happen in North Alabama or across the country. There is an entire network of professionals who aim to help victims of child sexual abuse called The Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests.

Barbara Dorris, our area's director of the organization said child abuse in churches is a problem that's been happening for a very long time in all different denominations.

In fact, the group has a website called Stop Baptist Predators that focuses specifically on child sex abuse within the Baptist Church.  One expert said child abuse in churches is nothing new and happens a lot more than we realize, but we are starting to hear about it more because the victims are beginning to feel safer in reporting these crimes.

In the past it was even more difficult for the victims to come forward in a church situation because the predator is a trusted member of the clergy, and the church would often ignore the problem or simply re-locate the pastor in question while doing nothing for the victim.

"In a clergy situation, God is involved and predators use God in this by saying this is God's love, this is God's way of showing that you are special, if you tell you will go to hell," Dorris said. "That's an old lie many children are taught: if you tell you will go to hell. It's all tangled up and the victims are forced to deal with that and often times if they say anything to their communities, often times they are the ones pushed out as opposed to the predator."

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