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Women face stigma of clergy abuse. By Sacha Pfeiffer, Boston Globe, 12/27/ Jean Leahy kept her secret for 40 years: that she had had to fend off the Rev. Robert V. Meffan's repeated sexual advances - the hand on the thigh, the hug that lasted too long, the invitations to his bedroom - when she was a teenager studying at Sacred Heart Convent in Kingston. A Quick Question. How common is clergy sexual misconduct? The quick answer: Not as common as other ways clergy get in trouble with their congregations. The longer answer: In , with funding from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., two researchers from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research at Hartford Seminary, Professor Nancy Ammerman and the Rev. Dr. Terry Schmitt, gathered 11 focus groups. Sexual misconduct is one grave violation of this trust. We also acknowledge that laypersons can engage in acts of sexual misconduct, abuse and /or harassment. This policy seeks to address the abuse of power by all clergy and laity who engage in sexual misconduct, abuse, and/or sexual harassment.
He was her counselor, her mentor and, she thought, someone who had her best interests at heart. She remembers how the mentoring slowly turned sexual. And even though her marriage was emotionally bankrupt, what would her husband do? Many victims say it was their absolute michael leahy clergy sexual misconduct in their minister that got them into trouble. It would be my word against his. And it was risky—what would it do to my marriage? Like most women, it took Anne years to tell.
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