News Release

Church programme supports healing from sexual abuse

“I feel accepted and loved.” “Now I have hope.” “I was depressed and didn’t want anything, now I want things for myself.” “I am crying, these are happy tears.” “I look forward to this all week.” “These lessons are dripping into my soul, and I am feeling emotionally lighter.” These are statements from participants of “Healing from Sexual Abuse”, a group-based approach implemented by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Europe since 2021.

In June 2021, the Europe Area Family Services office started the “Healing from Sexual Abuse” programme for the first time, outside of the USA, after becoming aware of a specific abuse case in Europe and the large impact this had on this individual and her family.

Group leader's guide for "Healing from Sexual Abuse" programme.2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

The “Healing from Sexual Abuse” program was developed and being implemented in-person by Family Services in the United States. It was then decided to start the process to bring this programme and adapt it to fit the needs of Church members in Europe.

The on-line closed group was provided to English speaking sisters throughout Europe. The first groups were conducted by June Ferreira, a counselor and psychotherapist based in the United Kingdom, and Sister Lizbeth Rencher, a senior missionary and licensed psychologist.

The twelve lessons combine educational, spiritual, and therapeutic approaches to recovery. The core focus of this program is on the Savior Jesus Christ and the healing power of His atonement.

Awareness of the group has reached across Europe and the interest is high. Groups are now conducted in Spanish, French, and English. Next quarter the groups will be offered in Finish, Portuguese, German, and Italian. When women in the Church learn of this program, they often comment they have been waiting and hoping for a gospel-based approach to help them in their healing process.

“I learned that it takes just one step forward to get you away from the darkness you were living in”, one participant said. “I have the tools to change things in my life that will protect me”, another concluded. After completing the programme, one person concluded: “The Savior’s Atonement is real and He was sent to save and heal you personally, he is more powerful than your pain, trust that the Atonement really can work for you.”

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