The Bearing Witness Project started in 2019 as a multi-media advocacy project to boldly lead the conversation on religious & spiritual trauma (RST) among survivors, their loved ones, communities of faith, and mental health professionals.

Our Mission

To equip communities to recognize and understand the harm of religious and spiritual trauma and to take compassionate action to prevent and heal.

WHO We Serve



Build an empowering and safe platform for survivors of religious and spiritual trauma

Help provide language for their experiences

Advocate for visibility and understanding among mental health professional, faith communities, and the larger public

Mental Health Professionals

Further conceptualize religious and spiritual harm within a trauma-informed framework for culturally humble practice

Understand the importance of spirituality to mental health

Educate about survivor experiences


Equip community members with knowledge and tools to respond more compassionately to individuals impacted by religious and spiritual harm

Identify and shift power structures to prevent religious and spiritual trauma from happening

Help faith communities understand the need to identify the church’s history of harm and abuse with honesty, integrity, agency to be able to hold complexity

Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.
— Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW (The Gifts of Imperfection)