Hagar's Voice

Danielle Strickland

Welcome to the launch of the Hagar's Voice Podcast. Here's a brief intro, backstory and the hope for this channel.If you, or someone you know, is a victim of clergy sexual abuse, we are here for you. You are not alone. Visit www.HagarsVoice.com

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Religion & SpiritualityReligion & Spirituality

Episodes

Season 2, Episode 8: Sherrie-Lee Petrie - Part 1
6d ago
Season 2, Episode 8: Sherrie-Lee Petrie - Part 1
Thank you for joining us and tracking with this conversation describing ten ways to engage with someone who has been sexually violated in a religious setting:The first three relate to PRE ENGAGEMENT: we can be doing these things before we engage with someone who has been abused in order to be ready to be a safe ally when called upon.1. Do your own work: spiritual transformation and mental, emotional, and embodied healing practices and routines…not as “duty” but as holy medicine in response to Creator’s invitation.2. Inform and educate yourself: trauma-informed training and practice is the BARE minimum; proactively educate yourself, your community, everyone you know – advocate all the time. For example, DARVO: Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender = Jennifer J. Freyd, PhD is a psychology researcher, educator, and author. Her theories of betrayal trauma, DARVO, institutional betrayal, and institutional courage™ have revolutionized the field of trauma psychology and the practice of institutional community-building.LINK to more information about DARVO: https://dynamic.uoregon.edu/jjf/defineDARVO.html3. Act and advocate for change in your church or spiritual community: doing nothing isequal to complicity – strong words but in the current climate of disclosures of clergy sexual abuse they may not be strong enough! NOTE it is up to those who have been sexually violated whether they allow you to advocate and stand in ally ship with them – this is not the ally’s decision.ENGAGEMENT:4. Believe the person who has been sexually violated and posture yourself accordingly –we encourage a decolonized approach here – don’t take charge as we are trained to do in church cultures. Respond to their expressed needs and take action in your relationships with the person they are accusing and their supporters. This is not a time for “waiting and seeing.”5. Resist the compulsion to ‘theodicize’ the person, their story, or the context: resistmoralizing, offering tropes or empty reassurances, or references to the “strong” survivor narrative (i.e..”I don’t know how you can be so strong.” Etc.)
Season 2, Episode 7: Danielle Tumminio-Hansen - Part 2
May 16 2024
Season 2, Episode 7: Danielle Tumminio-Hansen - Part 2
Thank you so much Danielle, for your time, insight, expertise, and generosity in today’s episode. We join you in your commitment to increase knowledge about rape and sexual violation and provide language so people can name sexual violation for what it is.Here is the link to Danielle’s website which has a link to her book, “Speaking About Rape: The Limits of Language in Sexual Violations.”https://www.danielletumminiohansen.com/Listed below are the quotes from Danielle’s book which were read and discussed in this episode:"Those who listen to testimonies of those who experience sexual violations may be unaware that the linguistic choices they make may cause the person who shared so vulnerably to feel misrepresented or discredited, and thus cause a listener to inflict unintentional linguistic harm""...from recognizing that most human beings - even including those who perpetuate harm - are nuanced and complicated. A person can charm, coach your daughter's basketball team, be married and professionally successful, publicly advocate for women, and still pin down a girl on a bed against her will, cover her mouth, and attempt to have sex with her. This is possible, though many believe it is not." " ... this was a classic "he-said-she-said" case of sexual harm. It would not go to trial. It would not receive a conviction, rendering any kind of public accusation an emotional and expensive experiment in futility. Moreover, our justice system operates in such a way that it punishes an individual for what is considered to be an individually perpetrated crime against another individual. However, if what I propose in this book is true - that sexual harm is a collective and not just an individual problem - then it follows that our individual system of retributive punishment requires re-examination, because meaningful accountability is needed on the part of both the person who perpetrated the harm and the wider society that enabled it": "...the definitional gaps that exist in matters of sexual harm will continue to function as forms of linguistic violence done to the individual by the collective. This linguistic violation becomes just one more component of the rape, one more way in which the person's body agency, and desire get disregarded, resulting in a toxic, symbiotic relationship between individuals and the collective in regard to the sexual harm done.""One of the differences between a violating and non violating sexual encounter, then, is that the victimized party is denied co-authorship, so that the person who causes the violation alone writes the key plot points, overexerting narrative agency in a way that attempts to write the victimized person's story and have a lasting impact on that person's self. What separates those who inflict sexual harm from those who are on the receiving end of it, then, is that the latter group did not consent - irrespective of what they said or did not say during the encounter - to becoming the selves that the former tried to narrate them into being.”
Season 2, Episode 6: Danielle Tumminio-Hansen - Part 1
May 14 2024
Season 2, Episode 6: Danielle Tumminio-Hansen - Part 1
Thank you so much Danielle, for your time, insight, expertise, and generosity in today’s episode. We join you in your commitment to increase knowledge about rape and sexual violation and provide language so people can name sexual violation for what it is.This is the link to Danielle’s website which has a link to her book, “Speaking About Rape: The Limits of Language in Sexual Violations.”https://www.danielletumminiohansen.com/Listed below are the quotes from Danielle’s book which were read and discussed in this episode:"What does it take to keep a person from naming her own sexual violation for what it is?" "I recall a session with my own therapist where I was going to tell her about what had happened to me, but when it came time for me to actually explain, I found that I didn't have words to do it. I verbally froze, unable to speak, unable to say words like "rape" or "sexual assault" or even to offer a description of what had occurred. What I could do, though, was turn to music, the vocabulary of my childhood. I took out a compact disc player and turned on Samuel Barber's Agnus Dei, a devastating choral composition that begins as quietly as it is possible for singers to perform - pianissimo - and then escalates in tone and tension into a kind of collective vocal suffering. And what a singer seems to communicate in the performance of it is the same thing I was feeling: a profound sense of aloneness, of hopelessness, of fear. It said what I needed to say better than any narrative could have. My therapist seemed to understand, and after that, I found that I was able to talk about my experiences a little more freely.""If you don't see yourself included in the language, then what is there to say? Because those who survived harm live within linguistic discourses, they may also self-gaslight, becoming unable to categorize harm that they might have named had they been exposed to different epistemic constructions of it, by which I mean that they might have thought differently about their own experiences if they had been exposed to different ways of constructing the knowledge related to it.""Victimized individuals may, therefore, first imagine themselves as co-writers or, at least, ghost writers who had at least some agency or subjectivity in the encounter to maintain a sense of control or a sense of protection, or because they genuinely believe that's the most accurate representation of the event. Put more colloquially, they are prone to blame themselves. And while psychologists often label this as denial, I'm not sure it's always as simple as that - sometimes people are wrestling with the significance of events using competing ways of knowing (or epistemologies), which resolves into cognitive dissonance and the feeling that one is assembling a puzzle, the but the events that make up the pieces do not fit together to create a coherent picture. That's not denial. That's turmoil."
Season 2, Bonus Episode with Angela & Alexa
Mar 14 2024
Season 2, Bonus Episode with Angela & Alexa
We are so grateful to Alexa for her time and wisdom. We sincerely hope this empowers survivors considering court with the info they need to navigate that space with a little less harm. And that we ALL grow in our awareness in order to strategically support survivors in their attempts to find justice.Here's a link to the 278 project "Survivor Safety Matters":www.survivorsafetymatters.caHere's a link to the document where Alexa and her team have clearly laid out a comparison between the charter rights of victims vs the accused and how well those rights are executed in the court system:https://drive.google.com/file/d/12OKTkfJ9zmLfaQrcZd_wWAcRRXzYgaE4/view?usp=sharingHere are the stats Alexa rattled off in case you want to take a closer look:https://sexualassaultsupport.ca/statistics-sexual-violence-in-canada/https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/benefits-military/conflict-misconduct/sexual-misconduct/training-educational-materials/myths-facts.htmlEVERYDAY ACTIVISM:Canadians, please sign this petition to endorse action be taken to change 278 (which gives the accused access to victim's private records like counseling records, journals and such):Non-Canadians, here is a link to a petition you can sign to communicate the same thing to decision makers:Follow the movement on Instagram (liking and sharing the content boosts the volume): https://www.instagram.com/survivor_safety_matters/Know someone in the media, government or with a connection to sexual assault centres? Make an introduction to the Survivor Safety Matters team: https://www.survivorsafetymatters.ca/contact
Season 2, Episode 4: Cassandra
Nov 3 2023
Season 2, Episode 4: Cassandra
This episode shares the story of a survivor who experienced abuse in two different industries and a traumatic trip through the court system.  The story (and therefore episode) is long, but there are obvious breaks along the way to pace your own processing as you listen.  The survivor, "Cassandra*" has been incredibly generous to provide the following show notes and access to communicate with her if you'd like.RELATED ARTICLES:"Cassandra’s" complaint to the Federal Ombudsperson for Victim’s of Crime (June 25, 2023)Links to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights - review of Bill S-12 Publication Bans:Oct 5, 2023: Morrell Andrews refers to the “Cassandra” PB issue at 17:05:48-59 and she has powerful words about what we still face in the system at 17:06:50-17:07:34.https://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20231005/-1/40002?mediaStartTime=20231005170218&mediaEndTime=20231005170905&viewMode=3&globalStreamId=14Oct 17, 2023:Dr. Ben Roebuck, the Federal Ombudsperson for Victims of Crime, presented at 17:04:10  to 17:04:41– the part specifically about protecting therapeutic records and their plans for a systemic review.https://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/10101/-1/40048?mediaStartTime=20231017170153&mediaEndTime=20231017170643&viewMode=3&globalStreamId=14- the reference to Cassandra wishing she had known to speak to a lawyer before reporting to the police, which led to the defence subpoena of her records and her decision to stay the case:https://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/10101/-1/40048?mediaStartTime=20231017172607&mediaEndTime=20231017172655&viewMode=3&globalStreamId=14Victims of SA can get 4 hours of free Independent Legal Advice:https://www.ontario.ca/page/independent-legal-advice-survivors-sexual-assault
Season 2, Episode 2: Alexa Barkley
Jun 23 2023
Season 2, Episode 2: Alexa Barkley
A HUGE thank you to Alexa Barkley for her encouragement and wisdom.  She has provided some resources and references that you might find helpful:Here is the article that tells a few more/different details of Alexa's storyAlexa's correspondence with the Canadian Baptists of Ontario & Quebec (CBOQ)demonstrates very typical behavior for organizations that are lacking trauma-informed care principles and are oriented around a desire to protect the institution instead of orienting around making the situation right.  This correspondence also demonstrates the effort so many survivors go to in order to 1) be heard, 2) be grace-filled, and 3) use their voice to educate decision-makers.  It is nothing short of heroic.Jaymie Friesen of the Mennonite Central Committee is part of Alexa's circle of support and her letter to the CBOQ is a powerful demonstration of truth-telling and holding decision-makers accountable for their responsibilities.  It is educational and not abusive, but it pulls no punches.  The Mennonites also have an Abuse Prevention site that is incredibly insightful and helpful.  It demonstrates incredible transparency in naming abusers who have had credible claims brought against them.  Well done, MCC.Into Account is a powerhouse USA-based advocacy organization that Alexa referenced & that Hagar's Voice highly recommends for survivors seeking advocacy or decision-makers seeking guidance.#ChurchToo: How Purity Culture Upholds Abuse and How to Find Healing is a resource Alexa mentioned.  She also recommends You Are Your Own – A Reckoning with the Religious Trauma of Evangelical Christianity & Pure – Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free & Putting Trials on Trial – Sexual Assault and the Failure of the Legal Profession  Each of these books is available in multiple formats. Those interested in the connection between purity culture and abuse might consider the thus-themed season of the Reclaiming My Theology podcast by Brandi Miller.  This season ran from Nov 2022 through May 2023 and is an in-depth autopsy of the theologies behind the purity movement and the ramifications of it still playing out today on more than just gender dynamics.  This podcast can be found on all major platforms.If you'd like to connect with Alexa, you can find her on Instagram @alexa.m.barkley or Facebook as alexa.barkley.7
Episode 2: Heather's Story
Jun 3 2022
Episode 2: Heather's Story
In episode 2 we hear from a pastor in a small congregation whose story of abuse was only the beginning of the pain and loss.  Heather shares how her most difficult obstacle to healing was the ramifications of what happened once she disclosed her abuse, but she also shares beautiful and grace-filled insights on how we can learn to do better.  Thank you, Heather, for your courage to share and for the wisdom of your story that prompts us to include some links below to resources to continue the conversation in our own spaces!Heather provided a succinct definition of Clergy Sexual Abuse that was so helpful.  If you’re looking for a deeper understanding of that phrase and the topic in general, this simple yet quality resource might be of value to you.  Understanding Sexual Abuse by a Church Leader or Caregiver (2nd edition) by Heather BlockTrauma Informed Churches is an organization dedicated to making churches a safe place for those who have experienced trauma of any kind or at any age.  Full of insight and practical guidance, it’s a great place for anyone in a religious space to gain understanding & skills in creating safe spaces. https://www.traumainformedchurches.org/Heather spoke of a theology of emotion, for those who are processing the grief of clergy abuse, perhaps this grief ball resource can be helpful as it names the emotions involved in grief and visualizes how they are intertwined together.Post-Recording Note from Heather:Thank you for listening and I am praying my story will be of encouragement to you.  I pray that you will be ignited with hope because of the ‘fever of love’ Jesus has for you and his desire for you to be healed and restored!I would like to note, since my resignation in July of 2021 I no longer hold the title of Pastor. To my surprise my credentials were removed upon my resignation BUT I still hold my calling. I lost community, income, employment, reputation, the list goes on, all because I found my voice and stood my ground. I resigned due to my principals and because of the destruction left in the wake of broken trust.Walking away for me was not not failure, it was freedom!To my fellow survivors of Clergy Sexual Abuse, breathe deep and receive freedom as you navigate the road least traveled and as you step into all God has for you in your healing journey!Receive peace in Jesus name, you are not alone!—HeatherIf you, or someone you know, has been the victim of clergy sexual abuse, Hagar's Voice is working together to stop the abuse & start building a better way. We are here for you, you are not alone. www.HagarsVoice.com