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Abuse survivor: Some ‘victim advocacy’ groups ‘have their own agendas’

This story is the second part of a two-part series about how one victim of sexual abuse found healing. The first part was published Aug. 1.

When Michael* was 15 years old, he was abused by a priest at his Catholic high school. He told CNA recently about the suffering he endured, and about how, seven years after his abuse, he confided in another priest – only to have his faith in God and the Church shattered again.

For nearly three decades, Michael struggled with the pain and trauma of his abuse. He spent years, and tens of thousands of dollars, in therapy. He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He needed help.

The therapy was a beginning.  But Michael told CNA he found the most healing in the Church and faith that his abusers had driven him from. Healing did not come not easily.

Michael says he wants to see real reform in the Church, and to ensure no one suffers like he did. But, he urges caution against what he calls “predatory advocacy groups” and an “industry that trolls for victims.”

Michael spoke to CNA about his experiences with such groups.

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