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Towards Healing and Renewal: A victim of sexual abuse shares her story

Marie Collins

Sexual Abuse Victim ;“I was quite sick, anxious and away from friends and family for the first time, but I felt more secure when the Catholic chaplain in the hospital befriended me.”

The abuse happened more than 50 years ago, but she says, those horrible moments are impossible to forget.

Marie CollinsSexual Abuse Victim“He visited me and read to me in the evenings. Unfortunately, these evenings in my room, were to change my life.”

Collins says years later when she shared her story, nothing was done by her local church officials. At one point, she was even blamed. To change that, the summit also deals with ; accountability.

Baroness Sheila HollinsPsychotherapist “Not being believed or even worse being blamed for the abuse adds hugely to the emotional and mental suffering caused by sexual abuse, and how the failure of the abuser to admit his guilt or of his superiors to take appropriate action further compounds the damage.”

Collins says, even as a teenager her faith was very important to her. ; But she says it was the ?inaction? of Church officials that made her loose respect for them.

Marie CollinsSexual Abuse Victim“This chaplain was already a couple of years outside the seminary, but he was already a child molester. I could have not know this.”

The summit titled “Towards Healing and Renewal” is taking place from February 6th to the 9th. ; Even though much still needs to be done, organizers are hoping, this step will truly help bring that healing and renewal.

KLH RR/Gregorian UniversityJM-PR