Seeing His Innocence, I See My Innocence
This discussion paper presents the initial findings from qualitative interviews (undertaken during 2019) with a small group (n = 5) of adult women survivors of sexual abuse. The women are all either nuns (n = 1) or former nuns (n = 4), who experienced abuse during their time in religious orders (n = 3), or when they were minors (n = 2). They were asked to read Tombs, Crucifixion and Sexual Abuse (2019), in advance of the interview. The interview then explored their responses to the naming of Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse, with particular attention to what this might mean for survivors and others in the church. Most participants felt that Jesus’ experience could have positive value for survivors, and they all believed it was important for the wider church. The innocence of Jesus was identified as an important counter to self-blame or victim-blaming by others. Following further discussion of these initial findings, a further paper will be published later in 2020, as Paper 4 in the ‘When Did We See You Naked? Series.