There Are No Winners Here: A Pastor’s Response to Date Rape in the Church

  • Philip Halstead
Part of the Religion and Radicalism book series (RERA)


In this chapter, Philip Halstead weaves a fictional narrative that relates an incident of acquaintance rape between two church congregants. Through this creative exploration, he considers the psychological and spiritual impact that gender violence may have on the victim and the perpetrator, as well as all those others caught up in the trauma of events. Focusing on the character of the church pastor, Halstead traces the professional and personal challenges faced by those in positions of pastoral responsibility, who are confronted with the task of providing spiritual care to those impacted by gender violence. Amidst a cacophony of voices and conflicting advice, the pastor must navigate a path that offers the rape victim a source of healing and a means of moving forward. Halstead traces the pastor’s journey, focusing in the latter part of the chapter on the pastor’s threefold response to the crisis—namely, to practice pastoral presence to the hurting, educate parishioners about healthy interpersonal relationships and crisis management, and lead the victim through an authentic process of forgiveness. The chapter therefore offers a guide to and reflection on the vital role taken by pastoral caregivers within the complex and traumatic events of rape.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Halstead
    • 1
  1. 1.Carey Baptist CollegeAucklandNew Zealand

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