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The spiritual implications of sexual abuse : not just an issue for religious women?
journal contributionposted on 2012-01-01, 00:00 authored by Beth CrispBeth Crisp
Although there is now some recognition that sexual abuse, particularly that which occurs in religious settings, has spiritual implications for women who have been abused, the spiritual implications of sexual abuse which occurs beyond the confines of specific religious practices and beliefs tend not to be acknowledged. Taking a stance that all people, irrespective of their involvement in a formal religion, are inherently spiritual, this paper identifies the key concepts associated with spirituality as meaning, identity, connectedness, transformation and transcendence. Examples as to how each of these may be issues following the experience of sexual abuse are provided. This approach challenges prevailing notions that sexual abuse only has spiritual implications for women who identify with a particular religious tradition. Instead it is argued that an experience of sexual abuse can be critical for the spiritual life of any woman who is subjected to abuse.