Sex Abuse by Catholic Nuns Often Overlooked, so Survivors Band Together to Raise Awareness

On Wednesdays, the support group meets over Zoom. The members talk about their lives, their religious families and their old parochial schools. But mostly, they are there to talk about the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of Catholic nuns.

The topic deserves more attention, they say. The sexual abuse of children by Catholic sisters and nuns has been overshadowed by far more common reports of male clergy abuse. Women in religious orders have also been abuse victims — but they have been perpetrators too.

“We’ve heard so much about priests who abuse and so little about nuns who abuse that it’s time to restore the balance,” said the group’s founder, Mary Dispenza, herself a former nun, in a speech to abuse survivors last year.

Dispenza, who endured abuse from both a childhood priest and a nun in her former order, started the online support group five years ago with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. More victims had been contacting her in the wake of #MeToo, as they reassessed past sexual abuse. She has since seen a growing awareness of abusive nuns at former Catholic orphanages and Native American boarding schools.

Continue reading at the Associated Press

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