“Working with Fear as a Survivor of Sexual Abuse”

Jean Hargadon Wehner will talk about the way she has used her own fear as the springboard for coping with the memories of the horrific abuse she suffered 45 years ago. She will share how leaning into fear is itself the source of the courage survivors need to carry on and grow. Jean’s experience was the primary focus of the Emmy-nominated documentary, The Keepers. The Keepers describes in detail the of experience of the sexual abuse Jean and others suffered at Archbishop High School, along with the murder of a nun who was about to expose that abuse. The documentary also describes the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s cover-up of the history of the primary perpetrator of the abuse, Joseph Maskell.

Jean Hargadon Wehner is an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, their families and the people who work with them. She herself is a clergy sexual abuse survivor and contributor to the Emmy-nominated Netflix documentary series The Keepers. Jean originally trained as a Spiritual Director and now works as a Life Coach, inspiring others through her private practice Light the Path. She was born, raised her family and currently resides in Maryland, enjoying time with her grandchildren.

Jean shares her inner health walk with integrity, giving others a glimpse into the psychological, spiritual, emotional and physical effects sexual predators had on her as a young child. She also shares how she instinctively found coping tools to help her survive these horrific experiences. She is discovering how her experience resonates with people who have lived with trauma. Jean has published a collection of poems called Conversations with My Self. Its focus is on the recovery of repressed memories through journal writing, conversations with the child within, and reflecting on past abuse, violence, love, loss and transformation. It is not just about recovering memories, but more importantly, it’s about the journey – through time and perseverance – to find one’s true Self.

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