There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.
– American Spiritual


Sexual abuse is a systemic social ill requiring a systemic solution. We need everyone in the room: victims (primary and secondary); offenders; persons who provide healing services to victims and offenders; community resources for accountability (e.g. courts and corrections); community leaders both secular and religious; members of religious communities and society at large.

An adequate systemic solution will address multiple aspects including: awareness of and intervention on the social and cultural factors that undergird sexual abuse and the misuse of power; prevention of abuse by individuals; accountability for offenders; effective healing services for victims of abuse; effective healing services for offenders; restoration of all persons affected by sexual abuse (victims, offenders and community) to right relationship.



A need exists for Catholic people to have a spiritual and physical response to the shame and disgrace we have endured, and indeed, been responsible for, in some measure. We are a sacramental church and need physical manifestation of this rising from the ashes. Thus the Gilead name which invokes the universal cure, “balm”, for all.

Gilead creates a public space to leverage efforts by individuals, organizations and faith communities to develop best practices for healing and preventing sexual abuse and abuses of power that harm. Gilead’s physical and public presence creates a space in which to address the societal scourge of abuse.


  1. Be a center for multiple programs and organizations engaged in various aspects of the sexual abuse issue. In some cases Gilead will provide space for an organization’s offices and programs. The center will foster collaboration among multiple organizations.
  2. Research and implement strategies for effective restoration of victims and offenders.
  3. Provide educational programs and conferences to address prevention, healing and restoration.
  4. Support and engage in models of restorative justice that seek to hold offenders accountable; promote healing for victims and offenders; and create possibilities for reconciliation.
  5. Hold regular (monthly) Uncommon Conversations.
  6. Provide gathering/meeting spaces for individuals harmed by abuse who seek healing.
  7. Create opportunities for persons to participate with their resources and involvement in a positive and hope-filled effort that responds to the crisis of sexual abuse and fosters systemic change.