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Religious Abuse

There are many different forms and types of abuse, which we’ve discussed here, but one type of abuse that you might not be aware of is religious or spiritual abuse. Have you been victim to this type of abuse? 

What is religious or spiritual abuse? 

When you think of religious abuse your mind is most likely to think of a member of the clergy inflicting abuse, however it’s not the only type of spiritual abuse that can happen, it can also happen within a family or an intimate partner relationship. 

Spiritual abuse is not limited to one particular type of religion, even though the media has focused heavily on abuse within the Catholic Church, it can happen within many different religions. 

Religious abuse signs 

Your religion and beliefs are something that are completely personal to you, therefore if you suffer abuse that’s relating to this it can be extremely traumatic. Whilst it’s deeply unsettling, it can be hard to identify, even for the person at the hands of the abuse. 

Here are some religious abuse signs to be aware of:

  • Respect is demanded rather than earned
  • They may shame you for spending your free time not doing something relating to religion 
  • Anything you tell them in confidence is likely to be shared with others 
  • Critics will be silenced by making them into the bad person 
  • In a religious abuse relationship the abuser will prevent the victim from practising their beliefs, they will also ridicule or insult their beliefs 
  • Children will be forced into a faith that a partner hasn’t agreed to 
  • Religious words or beliefs will be used to rationalise their behaviour, whether it’s physical, sexual or financial abuse 

Religious abuse of power 

In the majority of religions there is a strict hierarchy with plenty of different positions of authority, as well as a culture of secrecy, all of these conditions play easily into an abusive environment.  

These types of environments allow for abusers to go undetected quite easily, even more so when children are taken away from their parents to spend time with these people of power. Using religion and faith as a way of keeping them quiet is a method used by this religious abuse of power as well. 

How to get justice for religious abuse 

You might wonder how you can get justice for religious abuse, and while it might not be easy, it’s certainly doable and we are here to help you in any way that we can. 

Not only can we help ensure you have the right support whilst going through this process, but we are here to handle your claim from start to finish with all of the compassion and guidance you need.