Spiritual Abuse Resources
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Wounded Faith: Understanding and Healing From Spiritual Abuse
Edited by Rev. Dr. Neil Damgaard
Chapter Contributors. Harold Bussell, DMin, Ray Connolly, Neil Damgaard, DMin, Doug Duncan, MS, LPC, Wendy Duncan, MA, LBSW, Ken Garrett, DMin, Maureen Griffo, MA, Heidi I. Knapp, CLC, Patrick J. Knapp, PhD, Michael Langone, PhD, Judy Pardon, MEd, Diana Pletts, MA, Eric K. Sweitzer, PhD
Spiritual abuse may refer to any kind of psychological, physical, or sexual abuse that takes place in a religious context. Or the term may refer to manipulations that damage a person's relationship to God or to his/her core self. (More on definitional issues.)
A research study found that nearly half of spiritually abused persons who left cults approached churches for help, but nearly half of these persons reported that they received “no help at all” (emphasis added). In response to this disturbing finding and other research, International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) created this special website of spiritual abuse resources (SAR).
This site's primary mission is to help people who have been spiritually abused. The site also provides resources and training for individuals and organizations, such as churches, whom the spiritual abused may call upon for assistance.
Although spiritual abuse occurs in all religious traditions, most people seeking information or assistance related to spiritual abuse come out of groups or situations that are at least ostensibly Christian. Therefore, many of this site's resources have a Christian flavor. Other resources on the site, however, are useful to nonChristians.
The directors, staff, and advisors of ICSA and SAR respect the individual's right to make informed, independent, and unpressured choices and the right of all people to be exposed to a diversity of viewpoints and opinions.