In any given congregation with 400 adult members, seven women on average have been victims of clergy sexual misconduct since they turned 18, a new national study reveals.
“We knew anecdotally that clergy sexual misconduct with adults is a huge problem, but we were surprised it is so prevalent across all denominations, all religions, all faith groups, all across the country,” said lead researcher Diana Garland, dean of the Baylor University School of Social Work. “Clergy sexual misconduct is no respecter of denominations.”
The study revealed that more than 3 percent of adult women who had attended a church in the past month reported that a religious leader had made sexual advances to them. Research found that 92 percent of those sexual advances were made in secret, and 67 percent of the offenders were married to someone else.