Spiritual Abuse

Spiritual Abuse Awareness Month and Survey for Spiritual Abuse Survivors


Well, it’s nearing the last week of January and I almost missed pointing out that it’s Spiritual Abuse Awareness Month.

Way back when I started my original blog about my abusive church experience, one woman found my blog and left a comment. Her name was Barb Orlowski. It was the very next week that I was sued by my former pastor and Barb was one of the original three people I contacted when looking for help during my very scary experience. She immediately networked and found supportive people who gave me ideas and encouraged me.

Barb Orlowski, a long-time SSB friend and commenter, has been written a book on spiritual abuse and has been researching the topic for years. She asked if I could pass along the following information about a spiritual abuse survey. If you haven’t taken Barb’s survey, I encourage you to do so. Spiritual abuse is easily dismissed by many, but those of us who have experienced it know how life-changing it can be. It’s important to have this research.

~Julie Anne

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 3.29.25 PM


Greetings Everyone!

January has been designated, for the past number of years, as:

*Spiritual Abuse Awareness Month*

Many bloggers have joined in to raise the awareness about spiritual abuse.

Some of you may be new to this negative church life experience and how devastating it can be. Finding others online, who have experienced spiritual abuse and hearing how they have slowly recovered, provides hope and help–especially if you have wondered what exactly has happened to you.

You may not be aware of my ongoing invitation for people who have suffered from spiritual abuse and who have recovered sufficiently–to fill out my online questionnaire.

This initial survey was designed for participants in my doctoral research project regarding spiritual abuse and how people eventually recovered from it.

Out of that project came my website: ChurchExiters.com and my book, entitled: “Spiritual Abuse Recovery: Dynamic Research on Finding a Place of Wholeness.”

Bloggers have been a huge help in getting the word out for people to know about this opportunity to tell their stories and have these accounts added to the growing statistics of those wounded by spiritual abuse in their local churches.

A few years ago I was asked by a researcher in Australia if I could point them to statistics regarding how widespread spiritual abuse was. At this time, there still does not appear to be very many studies that I can point people to, apart from my own. This is a motivator to request that people–who were not involved in the original study–take the time in order to be a part of this new research project.

Please carefully consider the following criteria for participation in this opportunity to ‘Add Your Voice’.


1. Carefully read through the criteria.

2. If you have considered the criteria and feel that you fit and that you will not be harmed by answering the questions, please proceed.

3. If you feel that this exercise could be therapeutic as well as help to bring you closure, please proceed.

4. Then Click on PLEASE CLICK HERE for Participant Questionnaire.

· Your completed questionnaire will be added to my ongoing file.
· Your comments will be kept completely confidential.

Thank You for being willing to share your story!

Looking forward to hearing from you as soon as convenient.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at this email address: info@churchexiters.com

All the best!

Barb Orlowski, D.Min.



7 thoughts on “Spiritual Abuse Awareness Month and Survey for Spiritual Abuse Survivors”

  1. Barbara, I think you should do this via Survey Monkey or Survey Gizmo (and post a link here), otherwise it’s hard for us to be sure we’ll be anonymous.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Barbara, I’m confused about your view of “recover”. You may want to make it clear if you view “recovery” from spiritual abuse as someone who’s still in or returned back to Christianity, or just someone who feels like they’ve gotten over the abuse. I think I’ve recovered, but I’m agnostic, so I didn’t feel comfortable participating.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Anonymous2,

    Thanks for your enquiry and the suggestion. I have been doing this survey this way since I started the doctoral program. In order to get the OK for beginning with my research, I had to go through strict protocols through the ethics board of the institution. I continue with maintaining these confidentiality parameters.

    People often put the questionnaire into a Word doc and then attach it to their email or include it in their email. This has worked for a host of people. The email comes directly to me, there is no one else who sees my emails. The information is read, considered, tabulated, and put in my personal file. I send a Thank You email to confirm that I have received, read, and appreciated this person taking the time to share their ‘muddy tunnel’ church experience with me and how they recovered from it..

    If you have any further questions or suggestions, please let me know here or email me privately. I trust that these thoughts put your mind at ease. It is up to you if you feel that you can be safe with a person ‘sight unseen’ and with those personal and ethical guidelines in place.


  4. Hi Phoenixtatgirl,

    In a nutshell, ‘recovery’ is being able to share your story without harmful flashbacks while filling out the questionnaire. Simple as that. Filling out the questionnaire is to be helpful to track one’s own journey, to be therapeutic, and to bring a measure of closure to the distress that has been experienced through this disheartening experience.

    Where you are afterwards is also part of your journey and why. There are a variety of places that people are at now after such an experience. All accounts are welcome. I would like to hear your story. I trust that this explanations helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you. My main concern was this criteria: “Have you moved beyond your pain to a point which you can reflect back on the ‘process’—knowing that Christ has enabled you, by His Spirit, to find restoration?”

    I feel I’ve moved past the pain and am in a healthier mindset mentally, emotionally, and spiritually (but not in the Christian sense of the word), but the last half with “christian wording” I don’t agree with.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, good point, Phoenixtatgirl. Most people just overlook that if it no longer applies to them and they describe their own circumstance. Glad to hear that you are in a healthier mind set and that you have recovered sufficiently to share your story without harm.

    Liked by 1 person

Thanks for participating in the SSB community. Please be sure to leave a name/pseudonym (not "Anonymous"). Thx :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s