Welcome to Survivor Sanctuary's new website!
Survivor Sanctuary

More than 20% of churchgoers are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, but sadly, church is the last place that most victims of abuse feel safe to go for help. I'm Kelly Downing, a survivor and advocate who wants to see that change. Survivor Sanctuary is a community for survivors of sexual abuse who are navigating the road to healing, and for anyone who wants to be a part of the major heart renovation the church needs so that our faith communities can truly become sanctuaries for survivors.

Recent Episodes

Sexual Abuse Survivors and the Church's Phony Compassion for the Unborn

June 30, 2022

With all the high-fives flying and churches celebrating in light of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, survivors of sexual abuse in the church may be left scratching their heads. Forgive us if we find the claims that the church…

The One Time It's OK to NOT Believe Survivors of Sexual Abuse

June 23, 2022

Believe survivors. We hear it often, and it's very important advice. But there's one time it's perfectly acceptable NOT to believe survivors... and that's when they tell you the abuse was their fault. On this episode we'll d…

Sheltered But Not Protected: A Chat with Justin Woodbury (Part 2)

June 1, 2022

Today on the podcast we continue our chat with Justin Woodbury of the blog and book, Sheltered But Not Protected. RESOURCES: Sheltered But Not Protected --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/survivorsanctuary/mess…

Sheltered But Not Protected: A Chat with Justin Woodbury (Part 1)

May 25, 2022

Today on the podcast we are chatting with Justin Woodbury of the blog and book, Sheltered But Not Protected. Justin shares his experience of surviving sexual and spiritual abuse in the IFB. RESOURCES : Sheltered But Not Prot…

Josh Duggar Keeps Telling His Family Who He Is. So Why Do They Refuse To Believe Him?

May 18, 2022

They say your character is who you are when nobody is watching. So why is it that Christians have so much trouble believing that people caught abusing children are depraved, dangerous and better off in prison? If you've been…

No, Mega Churches Are Not The Problem

May 11, 2022

It's always easier to find fault with "that church over there," but when it comes to sexual abuse, it's important to understand that it can happen *anywhere*. On today's episode we'll chat about the recent scandals that have…

Recent Blog Posts

The Problem of Abuse in the Church is Much Deeper than Lea…

An abusive religious leader is removed from his position of power. A victim, traumatized at his hands, is finally vindicated. Women, long ready for chang…

The Real Reason I Speak Out About Sexual Abuse in the Chur…

The statement was a reaction to an article that detailed a sexual abuse scandal involving a prominent pastor. When I read Anonymous Commenter’s wor…

5 Reasons Your Pastor Should be Talking about Sexual Abuse

“I wish I had talked about sexual abuse from the pulpit.” It was one of the first things my dad said to me when he woke from an induced coma…