Monthly Newspaper • DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT

Open Meeting for Sexual Abuse Survivors

BRIDGEPORT—An open meeting for survivors of sexual abuse and their friends and family will be held on January 10, 12:30 to 2:30 at the Catholic Center, 238 Jewett Avenue, Bridgeport.

This gathering is being sponsored by the Committee for Healing of Survivors of Sexual Abuse group and the Safe Environments Office of the Diocese of Bridgeport.

It is open to any person who has been sexually abused as a minor to meet with the diocesan victim assistance coordinators and fellow survivors of sexual abuse.

“We hope to hear from abuse survivors. Their input is important to us,” said Erin Neil, Director of Safe Environments.

The Committee for Healing has sponsored a number of events including the Mass of Hope, Healing and Reconciliation held in October at St. Anthony Church, “What unites us is the common search to be able to go on in hope, to be healed from our suffering and drawn closer in reconciliation,” the Bishop said at the Mass. “Healing is as much a walk in in faith as being carried in faith by the love of Christ,” said the Bishop at the Mass, which also included testimonials from member of the Healing Committee.

Survivors of Sexual Abuse also recently shared their stories in two powerful videos that offer a candid and hopeful look at what the group and diocese have done to address victims and prevent further abuse, but also explore the pain and ongoing suffering victims have felt as they come to terms with abuse in their own lives.

The videos were produced at Sacred Heart University. They can be viewed at https://www.bridgeportdiocese.org/survivors-clerical-sexual-abuse-share-stories-two-powerful-videos/

The first public event sponsored by the survivor’s group was the Service of Peace, Hope, and Healing for survivors of Clerical Sexual Abuse held at the Egan Chapel of Fairfield University in November 2016.

In addition, the group has sponsored gatherings at the Bridgeport Public Library at their North Branch, 3455 Madison Ave., Bridgeport. This is an opportunity to meet with fellow adult survivors of abuse as a minor together with a diocesan victim assistance coordinator.

(If you are an adult survivor of abuse as a minor, and you would like to learn more about this Mass, the upcoming gatherings, and resources that are available in our diocese, contact one of our victim assistance coordinators: Erin Neil, LCSW, 203.650.3265 or Michael Tintrup, LCSW, 203.241.0987.)