Georgetown backdrop

Telling and Preserving the Stories of Survivors

What is the most effective way to tell the stories of sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy and religious in the Roman Catholic Church? A research project conducted over the course of the 2021-2022 academic year under the leadership of Rev. Gerard J. McGlone, S.J., in consultation with a task force of survivors, attempt to address this question. The perspective of survivors was at the center of this study and its attempts to address the ongoing scandal from a new frame of reference.

The study sought to determine what means of telling a story (that is, through video, podcasts, audio clips, or written narrative) is most effective in future sexual abuse prevention programming focused on “training the trainers”: child safety officers, Church leadership, seminarians, and catechetical leaders in parishes and schools. This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Georgetown University. If you have any questions or concerns, please email

The study was part of the Global Culture of Safeguarding Project, Georgetown University.

Taking Responsibility Initiative

Georgetown University is part of the Taking Responsibility Initiative, led by Fordham University, which aims to explore the relationship between the structures of Roman Catholic and Jesuit institutions of secondary and higher education and the phenomena of clergy sexual abuse and its systematic concealment. 

Institutional Review Board Approval

This research was reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (“IRB”). You may talk to the IRB at 202-687-1506 or if:

  • Your questions, concerns, or complaints are not being answered by the research team.
  • You cannot reach the research team.
  • You want to talk to someone besides the research team.
  • You have questions about your rights as a research subject.
  • You want to get information or provide input about this research.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up for the study?

At this time, the study is closed to any further participation.

How was the study conducted?

Read the full study description.

Who are the researchers?

The project researchers are Rev. Gerard J. McGlone, S.J., principal investigator, and Justine Huynh, graduate research assistant. Please know that Rev. McGlone was blind to (not be able to know) participants’ identity. Due to the sensitive nature of this research and the fact that Rev. McGlone is a priest, he was only a resource to those who requested it. Justine Huynh was the primary contact person throughout the course of the study.

Who should I contact with questions?

You can contact the project researchers at

Where can I find mental health resources?

Get Immediate Help:
Phone: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Phone: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline
Phone: 1-800-656-4673

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)
Phone: 1-877-SNAP HEALS (1-877-762-7432)

Washington, D.C. Mental Health Services Guide

Microphones on stands in front of a stone church doorway

Additional Information About the Study

Project Researchers

{{ }} headshot

{{ }}

{{ item.individual_title }}
{{ item.second_individual_title }}

Opens in a new window