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 hopes to create 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.