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  • Writer's pictureNeil Parekh

Unspoken: Conversations with Candace (Guest: Michael Koplinka-Loehr)

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Season 3 of Unspoken: Conversations with Candace is dedicated to male survivors of sexual abuse.

Candace Sanchez is the Host. I was the guest on the first episode and am the co-host for the rest of the season. Michael Koplinka-Loehr is the guest for Episode 6.

The audio podcast is already out if you would prefer to listen to the show. Click here and scroll down for links to listen.

I am helping to produce the season with the support of Digimentors (pro bono). Click here for more on my story. | Click here to watch my interview.


The Impact of Grooming and Psychological Control With Mike Koplinka-Loehr How can we break the cycle of sexual abuse in the church and create a safe environment for children to worship and grow without fear of being victimized? Candace is joined by co-host Neil and guest speaker Mike Koplinka-Loehr to shed light on the challenges faced by male survivors of sexual abuse in the church. Mike, who is starting the Healing Resource Institute for Victim Empowerment, shares his gripping story of being abused by three different perpetrators, including a family friend, a priest, and a Boy Scout leader who was also his coach. Mike talks about his processing of the traumatic events and how he still relives those memories on a daily basis, even in mundane moments. His hope is that sharing his story will prevent future abuse and educate the public about the impacts of sexual abuse.

He discusses the concept of grooming in sexual abuse and explains how it is a psychological process that brings the victim under the perpetrator's control. Candace also talks about her own experience of being abused, the conditioning aspect of grooming and how it can make the perpetrator seem like a friend or father figure. The discussion highlights the long-term impact of abuse and the challenges survivors face when sharing their stories. Neil and Mike both point out the difficulty in forgiving oneself and the need for deep healing and processing to occur

The group also discusses the book "Evicting the Perpetrator," which examines the psychological effects of abuse and highlights the need for deep healing and mental health support for survivors of abuse. Neil also emphasize the stigma that still surrounds male survivors of abuse and the difficulty of sharing one's story. Mike shares his journey of forgiveness and the challenges he faces in forgiving some perpetrators.

The episode highlights the importance of education and prevention to ensure that abuse does not happen to future generations. The need for advocacy and the power of sharing one's story to build community and promote healing.

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