April 21, 2015
David Hayward, a cartoonist and writer who calls himself “a graffiti artist on the walls of religion,” frequently writes about abuse on his “Naked Pastor” blog. He writes as a survivor of abuse himself and as an advocate for others who have experienced physical, emotional, sexual, and other forms of abuse, including abuse by churches and other religious groups.
He writes: “Abusers count on the people they bully and abuse to feel and behave in certain ways. Many abusers wouldn’t abuse if they knew what they did would be publicized. The threat of exposure can be a deterrent. Many abusers understand this and depend upon secrecy and silence to perpetuate their abusive behaviors. If abused people show any signs of breaking this abuse code, then abusers will enforce and impose it in increasingly audacious ways.”
Hayward names ten kinds of feelings victims of abuse are likely to feel—and why bullies depend on those feelings to keep abuse victims from exposing the perpetrators and what they have done.