On November 18, on the sidelines of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Fall Assembly in Baltimore, Cardinals and World Faith Leaders will join child sexual abuse survivors for the Pathways to Prevention, Healing, and Justice Inaugural Sunrise Walk.
At sunrise November 18, sexual abuse survivors from across the USA will walk to raise awareness in the role faith leaders can play in safeguarding children and advocating for survivor and family healing. They will be joined by local child advocacy organizations and world faith leaders, including: Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, New York Board of Rabbis’ Executive VP Rabbi Joe Potasnik, President of Islamic Relief USA Anwar Kahn and Bishops attending the 2021 U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
November 18 is the annual day of observance for the prevention of child sexual exploitation and abuse established by the Council of Europe in 2015. Survivors of child sexual abuse, incest and exploitation from around the world are calling on global leaders and the United Nations to recognize this day as an international day of observance. This
Inaugural Sunrise Walk is part of a global collaborative to establish this day.
Dr. Jennifer Wortham, religion, spirituality, and health researcher at the Harvard University Human Flourishing Program, whose brothers are clergy abuse survivors, organized the event to highlight the important role faith leaders can play in helping survivors heal.
“My brothers experienced many challenges throughout their lives as a result of their childhood abuse, but I believe the most difficult challenge they experienced was the loss of their faith,” said Dr. Wortham. “This walk is just one way to show the collaborative work faith leaders and survivors are making to change the spiritual experience for
every survivor and their family.”
More information about the International Day for Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Prevention, Healing, and Justice and how interested participants can join a Global Virtual Survivor Walk may be found at www.globalcollaborative.org.