Figueroa and Tombs 2019 - Recognising Jesus as a Victim of Sexual Abuse
This report identiﬁes a number of publications – Tombs (1999), Heath (2011), Gafney (2013), Trainor (2014) – which have independently and explicitly identiﬁed Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse in published work. It also identiﬁes other research which has indirectly connected the cross to sexual abuse, but not explicitly named Jesus as a victim. It then presents the initial ﬁndings from pilot interviews held during 2018 with a small group of adult male survivors on their responses to Tombs (1999) naming Jesus as sexually abused, and what this might mean for survivors and/or others in the Church. Each member of the group experienced abuse by leaders of the Sodalicio society in Peru when they were teenagers or young men. Many of the same participants were interviewed in previous research examining the impact of the abuse, with particular attention to the spiritual impact (Figueroa and Tombs, 2016). Te 2018 interviews suggest that: (1) most in the group found the historical evidence for naming Jesus as victim of sexual abuse to be persuasive; (2) the group were sharply divided on whether this was of direct value to survivors of sexual abuses; (3) all of the group indicated that, regardless of its direct value to survivors, recognising Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse could make a signiﬁcant diﬀerence to how the Church understands abuse and treats survivors.