Grooming in the Church

The Need to Address Sexual Abuse


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July 03, 2024

In light of Pastor Robert Morris’ sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl over several years in his 20s, which led to his recent resignation from Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, guest host Adam McManus interviewed Elizabeth Good, a sexual trauma expert and author of Groomed: Overcoming the Messages That Shaped Our Past and Limit Our Future.

As someone who experienced sexual abuse as a pre-teen and went on to counsel thousands of sexual trauma survivors, Elizabeth founded and brings a unique lens to the Robert Morris situation.

She explains that an abused person is more likely to act out the abuse they experienced on someone else, enter an abusive relationship or pass it on to their children, who will probably repeat the cycle, if not escalate it. It’s generational if it remains unspoken and unhealed.

Currently, 1 out of 2 children are experiencing adverse childhood experiences. With no off ramps or mechanism to process that trauma, it gets buried – but it never stays buried. While sexual trauma statistically begins at 3-4 years of age, research shows that victims don’t speak about it until in their 50s – and by then another generation has been affected.

She says, “Those who don’t have an offramp for processing that sexual trauma – especially children – will continue the cycle. Even early exposure to porn – which is almost unavoidable with today’s technology – can lead children down either one of two paths – victim or abuser.”

Her latest book, Speak the Unspeakable: Real Talk on Secrets, Sex and Being Set Free, helps people stop concealing their trauma.

Her work creating Real Talk for kindergarten students through senior leadership is helping people combat the dangers of hidden trauma and “unspeakable” secrets, transforming families, corporations, and the Church worldwide.

About Your Host, Kevin Swanson

Homeschooled himself in the 1960's and 70's, Kevin Swanson and his wife, Brenda, are now homeschooling their five children. Since graduating from his homeschool and then serving as student body president of a large west coast university, he has gone on to other leadership positions in corporate management, church, and other non-profits.