Healing and Support
Where harm has occurred within religious institutions,
Pathways aims to promote healing and prevent harm from
reoccurring. This site is a resource for individuals who have
experienced abuse within religious institutions.
More than twenty-five years after the formation of the Archdiocesan Commission of Enquiry into the Sexual Abuse of Children by Members of the Clergy little has been done to foster healing and prevent misconduct from reoccurring.
Many survivors still feel the wounds caused by the sexual, physical, psychological, spiritual and cultural abuse at the hands of clergy, lay officials and religious institutions as a whole. A number of influences contributed to what has now become a global crisis, including the underlying systemic and cultural views on power and sexuality. More allegations of abuse have been reported and there are an untold number of cases that have been settled silently, outside of court.
Most provinces and indigenous communities in Canada have their own horror stories of abuse. First Nations, Innu and Métis children were taken from their families and forced to attend residential schools over much of the last century and there are an estimated 80,000 survivors of these schools alive today. Even after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission the intergenerational trauma of such a tragedy is ongoing, especially in Labrador where survivors of residential schools were originally excluded from an apology by the previous federal government.
Gemma Hickey is a survivor of clergy sexual abuse. Based on their experience and extensive research, Gemma founded Pathways in order to address the gaps in service for individuals who have experienced abuse within religious institutions. The organization – the first of its kind in the country – was incorporated in December 18th, 2013 and officially launched on November 20th, 2014 at the Delta Hotel in St. John’s.
Where harm has occurred within religious institutions, Pathways aims
to promote healing and prevent harm from reoccurring.
Pathways provides educational resources, confidential support networks,
appropriate referrals and other direct services province-wide.
Wherever possible, survivors will be provided with information on other available community supports that may meet their needs, including professional counselling and legal services.
Information can be sent to individuals and organizations upon request.
Educational presentations and sensitivity training can be booked for public events or private groups by email or phone.
For parties that are willing, facilitation can be arranged in a neutral space with a third-party facilitator. The survivor may be accompanied by a support person of their choosing. This process focuses on accountability, healing and closure for those involved in or affected by a traumatic event.