Rarely do I post anything which asks something of my readers. This is an exception, and you’ll see why.
The letter below is from Dr. Barb Orlowski, an expert on spiritual abuse whose book is on my Resources page. Barb is a trustworthy and professional colleague. She is doing some research and needs input from folks who have experienced spiritual abuse. Her survey is 26 questions long. You can visit her site and find the survey: it’s the bottom link on the right-hand side. It leads to a Word document that you download and then email back to Barb.
I wouldn’t post this if I didn’t think that the results of Barb’s survey will help a lot of victims of spiritual abuse. Here’s her letter:
Request for Survey Participants 2013
You are invited to participate in a new survey regarding those who have experienced spiritual abuse in your home church or parachurch organization and how you recovered from it.
My initial doctoral research was to confirm how people recovered from the devastating effects of spiritual abuse. This new survey will seek to verify the numbers of people directly involved in harmful treatment of congregants by the behaviors of church leaders, as well as how those wounded have recovered.
Please consider being a part of this new study. Your responses will be kept in my file for my personal use. If needed, some pertinent comments may be selected to quote. But anonymity is assured and your name will not be linked with information you share about your experiences. Your input will be valued and added to the data regarding this topic. This information will help to better understand the issues.
Please check out my website: www.ChurchExiters.com and read the articles entitled: FAQ and What Spiritual Abuse Is and Is Not. With this description in mind, you can consider if you have had the life experience that this research is seeking to track.
As with the original study, ‘criteria for participants’ is important. It can be found on my website. This is to ensure that those who participate in this study are reasonably healed and will not be further harmed by doing this survey.
I was recently asked by a researcher in Australia if I could point them to statistics regarding how widespread spiritual abuse was. At this time, there does not appear to be very many studies that I can point people to, apart from my own. This is a motivator to request that people–who were not involved in the original study–take the time and be a part of this new research project.
This is my personal study. This time it will not be connected with a seminary or be for a degree program. This information will be added to my ongoing research in this area. You can be a part of it. Statistics and data assessed may eventually be available to bloggers who are keen on this topic.
I believe that we can all benefit from this intentional effort. Let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions.
Please let me know which blogsite/s informed you about this new study.
You can contact me through my website email: info@ChurchExiters.com
Thanks for your support and feedback in this venture.
Barb Orlowski, D.Min.
Book: Spiritual Abuse Recovery
Reblogged this on sunrise over swamps and commented:
Some of my readers might be able to contribute to this.
Thanks fikalo! Yeah, let’s spread the word on this. I truly believe it will benefit people. Grace and peace to you, my friend.
Thank you for your writings! I have shared them with some of my church friends. I am grateful to not have directly experienced a lot of what you speak about here, but I have known many people over the years suffering the after-effects of spiritual abuse. You are doing a great job. 🙂
Thanks for the encouragement. So often our scars become our ministry. Thanks for caring enough about your friends to send them info. I think this topic is getting more exposure these days, and that’s all to the good. Press on!
No worries, and yes, I agree, our scars become our ministry. I’ve heard before that my local church is known for being a place of recovery for those who have escaped abusive situations. I have been astounded at the level of interference that some people have experienced in their spiritual lives. I think as an Australian we tend to think of this as a problem more common overseas, but the people I’ve met over the years would show otherwise.
Thanks Stephen and fikalo! Every post about this new research helps to get the word out.