What do I do about my sexual abuse?
The first step is to acknowledge it to yourself and then take the steps necessary to heal from its effects.
How long do I have to tell someone about my abuse?
Simple stated, it is never too late…even if you are in your nineties! What is crucial is to do something about the abuse. As the old saying goes, “If you don’t deal with your secrets, your secrets will deal with you.”
What is the first step now that I have contacted Road to Recovery?
There are a number of options. Road to Recovery can walk you through the steps we have found helpful to survivors. Contact Bob Hoatson and he will begin to help you. You do not have to give ANY personal or private information if that is your desire. Or, you can contact a health care professional who can begin “talk therapy” and/or drug therapy. Road to Recovery can be helpful, because we have walked hundreds through a successful process.
How much does “Road to Recovery” charge for its services?
Nothing! All assistance from Road to Recovery is free. At times, survivors who have received settlements have donated funds to us to help us continue our work, but there is never an obligation.
Is Road to Recovery a mental health organization?
No, neither Bob Hoatson nor Ken Lasch are therapists. We are “pastoral counselors” who can assess a situation, recommend therapists, social services, and other agencies that might help you in your recovery.
Can I receive justice through the civil or criminal courts?
Yes and no. If the laws of the State in which you were abused allow you to file a criminal charge, and your case meets all the requirements, then, of course, we urge you to file a criminal complaint. Even if your case does not apply in the criminal courts, we recommend you filing a police report in the county or town/city in which you were abused, in case there is a chance of a case and because it might inspire other victims to come forward and realize they’re not alone. Generally speaking, if your case is beyond the criminal statute of limitations, you are not eligible for a day in court.
Can I receive justice through the Church?
There is much controversy regarding the answer to this question. The Church thinks it is being compassionate and caring toward survivors. That has not been our experience for the most part. The evil of sexual abuse has been covered-up for centuries. It may take centuries for the Church to clean up its act. Some dioceses and religious entities have paid settlements to survivors, many have not and do not. This is where Road to Recovery can be very helpful. We know the “Church” inside and out and can counsel you about these matters.
What would you consider the three most important aspects of recovery from clergy sexual abuse?
The three most important steps in recovery from abuse are: therapy, medicine (if necessary), and support meetings. While “money” is an important tool to help in your recovery, it is not the most important thing. You can recover without money. You need to know the ways to ensure that lack of money will not get in the way of your recovery.
How do I begin this “Road to Recovery”?
Pick up the phone and call Bob Hoatson (he prefers to be called by his survivor name, Bob). He will spend time assessing your needs and suggesting some paths. He will, however, stress that “you” are in charge of your recovery and must be proactive in your healing process.
Is it an easy process?
It is not an easy process, by any means. But the alternative is much, much worse. Road to Recovery leads survivors to the light, while living with the effects of sexual abuse is “dark” and “desperate.” You may find that the process is as important as the product. Take a risk and start the journey to wholeness!
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