Mothers’ Experiences with Pastoral Care in Cases of Child Sexual Abuse

Jane F. Gilgun, Gwendolyn Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This article reports on case study research with four mothers who asked for help from their pastors when they learned, or had reason to believe, that their husbands had sexually abused children in their families. In their own words, mothers gave accounts of how the pastors responded. Some were helpful and knowledgeable, some appeared bewildered, and others were hostile and blaming toward the women. This article will sensitize pastors and other pastoral counselors to issues that child sexual abuse raises. In addition, the research responds to Mahoney’s (J Marriage Fam 72:805–827, 2010) observations about the scarcity of knowledge on whether religion helps or harms families during times of stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-694
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Case study research
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Narrative research
  • Pastoral counseling
  • Qualitative research
  • Religion and family life

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Evaluation Study


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