Finding Genuine Help For Catholic Rape Victims


#1

I recently read with interest an article posted in the Catholic Education.org website entitled; “Ethical Treatment After Rape”.
The article instills within me the highest respect with regard to any woman, child, or man who is forced to endure the utmost horror and affliction of trying to cope with the painful stigma and aftermath of rape. Living in Atlantic Canada; I know all too well what it is to live with the inexpressible painful curse of rape. I myself am a heterosexual male rape victim. Please do
not think me as callous or insensitive to the abusive degradation, mental abuse, and ravaged accursed sexual assault that women are confronted with here in Canada or the United States. I like many numerous men in this country am appalled and deeply saddened with the vicious
statistics of women who fall prey to abuse and rape by sadistic cowards. These atrocities cast a deep wound on every Canadian and American who truly embrace the moral laws of their country. As for being a
heterosexual male rape victim myself struggling with my own gang rape affliction at gunpoint, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I believe I am in a unique position to understand the horrifying dark abyss and lifelong agonizing scars of being violently tortured and gang raped.
Does being gang raped, tortured, beaten, and sodomized numerous times with the barrel of a gun forced inside your mouth make a man question his catholic faith ? Don’t get me wrong; I’m in no way, shape, or form blaming God. However; I am seriously questioning as to why the Catholic church doesn’t seem to at the very least acknowledge that their are victimized…women, children, and men who were indeed raped in the past and who silently live day to day amongst of their parish congregations.
Seems that many of the clergy or even our lay congregations would really take time to give a damn if someone in their congregation were to speak openly about their traumatic past. Few places in the
Catholic Church offer help for rape victims. They would rather leave these problems in the hands of secular professionals and their primitive psychotherapeutic sciences and the psychotropic drug induced neither world.
Demographically speaking; resources and safe havens for male rape victims are extremely sparse whether your a rape victim who resides in the U.S. or Canada. Have you ever heard of a Rape Crisis center exclusively for men ?
Not in my neck of the woods. Being a man living with the torturous stigma of rape is really a Silent Hell. Societal mainstream thinking always tries to falsely prejudge, dichotomize, and categorize all male rape victims as being gay or a convict in prison. This is cruel and unfair. Every two minutes someone in the U.S. and Canada gets raped. who’s next a wife, daughter, or son ? What are local Catholic Dioceses doing to help Catholic victims of rape ?
It’s not enough to just recognize that rape torture exist. It’s vitally important that local parishes go out of their way to help those who are victims. However; that’s not going to happen if there’s nobody willing to
listen. How many Catholics who were raped in the past resorted to taking their life by suicide, simply because
there were nobody in the church willing to listen to their cries of pain. A word to the Advisory Board of Catholic Education.org Male Rape Victims do exist…heterosexual and homosexual. As a heterosexual male rape victim myself living for the last thirty years in pain and
misery, all I ever wanted to hear was another rape victim who understood how I felt inside my heart about my painful past. To hear them say yes; I do understand your pain. For you see, I too wear the lifelong indelible scars and stigma of rape.
It would be commendable if people sitting on the advisory board of Catholic education.org and this site Catholic Answers would respectfully give
air time discussing help and resources for Catholics who suffer the unbearable pain of rape. I would gladly appreciate anyone who would like to add to this thread what I have been lacking in hindsight.

Respectfully;
with Sincere Kind Regards
Chris; New Brunswick
Canada


#2

Well, for me the teachings of the Catholic Church were very healing. I at first rationalized that sex meant nothing, so that the act meant nothing. How could something have been stolen from me if I didn’t hold something precious to begin with?? I devauluized sex in order to downplay the trauma I experienced. This is what many rape victims do and why they become promiscuous. (not all)

With love and guidance from God in the form of the Catholic Church, I now know what true love is. I do not like to re-visit what happened to me. Its done, its over with, and I am happy in my life now.

Rape is the antithesis of the beauty of the conjugal relationship between a man and a woman. By holding sex up to the most precious gift we can give another person the Church implicitly recognizes the horror and evil that rape is. Even the Church’s stance on ABC re-iterates the giving component of sex. ABC reduces sex to a mutual pleasurable exchange between people. Rape is further down the spectrum to pleasuring just one person (as twisted as that is, the rapist derives some sort of pleasure, be it power or a sick sense of arrousal, etc) with no regard for the victim.

(I know my stance and degradation of ABC will anger those that use it, but I see selfishness in ABC that reminds me of my experince. It is a shadow of evil that many cannot/do not see.)

I am assured that my DH fully respects and honors me as we follow the church’s guidance in our relationship. We are fully open and fully giving in our relationship. My DH and the love God gifted us with was the most healing path I have taken in my journey. I never expected a priest to understand my experience…that’s not the typical priest’s job. That’s not their training Perhaps you should contact Catholic Charities if you are looking for counseling that is in line with the Catholic Church. There is love and compassion in the Church’s teaching. Its just can be hard to find it when you are surrounded by the pain of what you have gone through.

May God bless you and keep you. May you find healing. Share with those who are willing to share, but also remember, that many have left it in their past and cope with it in ways that are quiet (such as me). I can no longer sit in talks that discuss rape. It brings back to many painful memories.


#3

The most basic needs for any rape victim is understanding, compassion, and respect. Sadly; in a too often indifferent secular society and even commonly at times within the Catholic Church most rape victims are dicotomized, prejudged, and disdainfully perceived with suspicion and guilt. Like as if the rape victim asked or deserved what happen to them. Aside from the serious spiritual and psychological needs, Catholic hospitals tend to direct the greater importance on rape-related abortion issues. I not saying that such moral and ethical imperatives should have no cause for involvement. However; too often the rape victim herself is left in a whirlwind of emptiness with people giving little or no regard for her overall mental and spiritual well being. Why is it that an increasing number of Catholic hospitals would rather avoid treating a rape victim ? How many women have been treated with partiality ? Oh ! pardon me ! "It doesn’t happen in the catholic church you say ? And what about male rape victims who are automatically categorized as being gay or a prison convict. You see for me being a heterosexual man gang-raped and tortured in the past at gunpoint and having lived with my affliction for thirty years I have witnessed so much unspeakable pain in sisters and brothers who have been through such hurt in the secular world and even meeting indifference within the Catholic Church. Why ? often goes unanswered.
Is it wrong to make critique about the Church that I have a great love for even in it’s weakness ? I too in my frail weakness sometimes feel overwhelmed and lacking in the understanding of people in this world. How I wish the Church would be more genuinely receptive to (“ALL”) Rape Victims.


#4

Any trepidation setting-off propositional attitude or debate towards constructive critique in retrospect to how compassionate or dispassionate the overall clergy and laity lends supportive non-judgmental help to (“Any”) and (“All”) victims of rape in the Catholic Church; be they female or male, heterosexual or homosexual, often leaves a distressing bitter taste of melancholy in my heart. Perhaps to some people it might seem excessively redundant if I reiterate once again the obvious presence of societal indifference in a world imprisoned by it’s own self-imposed selfish greed that feast’s upon lust for sexual appetites and material riches; devouring and possessing five primitive human senses, leaving most afflicted souls deplete of any grounded spiritual direction. In reality; the espousal and predilection for such behavior is extraordinarily illusive and ephemeral. Make no mistake about presumptuous interpretation in trying to fully grasp the ineffable stigma and psychological trauma with regards to children, women and men who fall target victims to rape torture. What is actually known about the aftermath of rape in our secular society and even amongst the clergy and laity is notably superficial no matter how genuine compassionate sentiments are offered to those who are afflicted by rape torture. Unless there are psychiatrist or psychologist who have experienced rape torture themselves, trying to articulate the conversational element regarding the horrid experience and aftermath of rape itself becomes non-essential mundane dialogue to people who are not affected by such an unspeakable hell. The Psychological Torture of Rape is something few people will ever understand unless a human heart makes itself receptively vulnerable with a deep concern in their heart for those children, women, and men who become shattered souls.
The following link below articulates quite vividly what most rape victims are confronted with.
centurionguard57.blogspot.com/2008/10/psychological-torture-of-rape.html


#5

Four months ago I written and emailed correspondence with the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Conn. Being a member of the Knight’s myself you would think that at the very least some brother knight could relate or show support to Men who fall victims to Rape affliction. I mean is there some kind of self-righteous bias or fears that completely avoids lending support for such a cause.
Yeah ! I know there are preconceived opinions and biased judgment dichotomizing all male rape victims as “gay”. Few there are who would care to educate themselves on this subject matter.
Being a heterosexual male rape victim I have to put up with this S*%@. And who really gives a damn ? Extremely few.
Sorry if your reading this…nothing personal. If you don’t know what it is to be tortured, gang-raped, sodomized, and beaten at gunpoint; you have no idea what I go through. Maybe I am ranting. It’s just that I hate and despise how my affliction messes with my head at times. I’m hurting real bad. It’s an everyday struggle to keep an active genuine prayer life when I feel this way.
Christmas time is difficult for me. My father passed away a few days before last Christmas. In fact my family celebrated his Requiem Funeral Mass Christmas Eve 2007 and we laid my father to rest that same day. A mother who is dying of cancer and my youngest brother dying of A.L.S. (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
I know a lot about suffering. Sorry once again if I seem to be ranting in my soup. Could use some support. Prayers welcome.


#6

I’m sorry you are suffering. You are in my prayers.

And it’s sad but true. It’s not just Catholic hospitals, it’s a societal problem that people who are raped do not often get compassionate care or justice and that men who get raped fare even worse. Prayers for change in that regard:(


#7

I’m so sorry to hear about this, truly :frowning: … I’ll pray for you. I don’t know what support is out there unfortunately, but I hope you find all that you need…


#8

I will pray for you. Until you are able to find the pastoral care that you need, all I can suggest it to pray the stations of the cross. While many of us cannot relate perfectly to your sufferings, our Lord can.

Peace and good.


#9

Have you brought it up to your diocese?

It seems to me that you are uniquely qualified to start such a ministry. “It takes one to -]know/-] help one.”

Perhaps you could get some ideas for how to set one up from Project Rachel, the ministry for abortion victims.

With deepest compassion,

Ruthie


#10

I am so, so, so, so sorry this has happened to you. And what suffering, to not only have had it happen, but not to have found the healing and understanding in the aftermath that you so desperately need. You have my compassion and prayers. God has to be using your incredible suffering (your hurt, your confusion, etc. etc. etc.) for grace for other victims. I would even go so far as to guess that some victims even have been brought back from the precipe of despair - people you don’t even know - because of the huge graces you have won with Jesus through your suffering. Your life is way more significant than you could even guess. And it’s all going to be revealed once you get to heaven. You have my prayers.


#11

Well here it is the beginning of a NEW YEAR IN THE LORD.
Since my last thread in this post I did take your advice to send a humbling, genuine, and the most respectful emails contacting both national offices of Project Rachel in the United States and Canada concerning my horrid past. Though compassionate reply’s were received very little with reference to support was offered except to say that I was amongst multi-millions of rape victims around the world forced to suck-it-up so to speak and (“Offer my sufferings to Jesus on the Cross”). Not something that is rather easy to swallow at first thought but, nevertheless commendable. Maybe I should just humbly shut up and speak no more about my emotional scarred past etched deep in my soul.
Cold Indifference in a secular pluralistic society is not too difficult to understand being a heterosexual man gang raped and tortured at gunpoint. However; witnessing that same cold indifference in the Catholic Church for (“ALL”) RAPE VICTIMS when it comes to genuinely supporting their cause is something that seriously needs resolution. Lets just say I won’t be holding my breath too soon.

When all things cease there is but three last things.
FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE
Something I must continually remind myself.

IF THE GLORY OF GOD IS TO BREAK OUT IN YOUR SERVICE
BE READY TO GO OUT INTO (“THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL”) I guess having to carry a suffering silent heavy cross is part of Living The Dark Night of the Soul.

My sincerest appreciation to every person in this thread who offered me their compassionate support. Trust me…it means a great lot.

Yours In Christ
Brother Chris


#12

I googled “rape catholicism help.” I did not expect to find anything except information on the priest scandals, because that’s all the help there seems to ever be from the Catholic Church for people who’ve survived sexual abuse - even if that abuse wasn’t by priests. But this thread came up! I joined this forum just so I could reply to you. But I just realized this thread hasn’t been active since January. My heart sank. Oh well. I’ll keep typing anyway.

Anyway, I’m a heterosexual female survivor. I was sexually abused (including raped) by various family members (including my father) from the time I was a toddler until I was about fifteen. We attended Mass every Sunday. No one ever helped me. I want to say I completely understand any feelings of isolation, rejection, being misunderstood, or just being ignored.

I am also a film student, and I’ve been trying to start a project in which spiritual questions that survivors have for God would be answered by clergy. The response has been laughable. No one wants to talk about it. When I emailed a Catholic priest, he just referred me to PR, and to a support group for people who were abused by priests, which is not the topic of my project. I emailed PR, but no one has responded to me.

I just skipped to the bottom of the thread and saw that you did try, too. I’m sorry the response was so cold. That makes me mad, sad, and so frustrated. I have a dear friend who is a priest and he has told me there is mostly NOTHING in existence for sexual assault survivors, except some retreat in New England (USA) that costs $1500 to attend, but I don’t remember the name of it.

My point is simply that I empathize. This is a widespread problem that the church seems to ignore, and I hate that. It blows my mind that virtually every church has something to help prevent abortions or counsel people who’ve had abortions, but it’s almost impossible to find help for victims of sexual abuse. I just don’t understand. Something needs to change. I do NOT think a loving God asks us to “suck it up” and move on. That’s crazy.


#13

I’m so so sorry for you, too, ivyrue, and really, that must sound so trite coming from someone else, because of the depth of hurt you must feel for what you’ve gone through. But you have no idea how upsetting it is for me to think of someone experiencing that sort of abuse, and mostly everyone has that reaction to it - I mean, even in jail, murderers look down on rapists… So you have so many people’s compassion - but I just wish you could have physical help, too. Makes me want to start some sort of program myself! I hope somebody will. Don’t take the lack of people talking about it, as a lack of empathy. Hopefully someone will just put that compassion into action. In the meanwhile, remember the spiritual bond of human love (even from me to you, though we’ve never met) and remember Christ who never wanted you to go through all that and who can heal you.

The situation actually makes me think of unstudied illnesses or learning disabilities. The person who has it suffers in isolation and misunderstanding. Often people’s reaction to them is cold and makes the person feel helpless. Then there’s the diagnosis, or the disorder is studied and brought to medical attention, and the person finally has the language to express himself in… it’s easier to find others like him… and he feels secure in being understood.


#14

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