"They want you to come forward, they want you to share your story, and they're going to walk with you through that journey. And that's really powerful as a victim, because we don't always experience that. And that's just very beautiful."
Barthel said one of the first people she called to tell about her story of abuse was the mother superior of the religious community she was a part of at the time.
"Her immediate response, the first words off of her lips were 'I believe you,'" Barthel recalled.
"And for a victim, I think that's very healing and affirming. Let the victim of any type of abuse know that you believe them. Make sure, especially for clergy, I think it's important for clergy to recognize that they're not therapists. And to make sure that they help direct the person to get professional therapeutic help as well."
Barthel has previously told CNA about the help offered her by Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens, who first met with Barthel in 2014 after she contacted him telling him she was a victim of clerical abuse and asking to meet with him.
Barthel said the main thing that Bishop Cozzens did right was that he listened.
"I think what he did right was first, he listened. He believed me, he listened," she said.
"And he has been very patient in walking with my journey back to living a life of faith, and that's been really helpful because I've never felt pressured."
She also said the most comforting thing Cozzens often would say to her is "Jesus understands."
"And so when I'm struggling- and living the life of faith sometimes is difficult for me- his response will be 'Jesus understands.' And that's always been very freeing for me, actually, and healing," she said.
Barthel said she hopes to be able to give advice and support to fellow victim-survivors at the conference, especially if they have not yet managed to tell the Church or law enforcement about their abuse.
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"The very first thing that I tell people is that I believe them," Barthel advised.
"Because it's not my place to try and find out if they're telling the truth or not. So the very first thing I do is to tell them that I believe them, and to reassure them that they're not alone."
She said she will then encourage the person to go to the police, offering to go with them if they don't feel comfortable. She said she will also offer to reach out to the Archdiocesan Victim Advocate Office, again offering to go with them.
"In addition to that, I encourage them to find a therapist, and if they need that we have resources in our diocese for finding therapists that work with victims," she said.
Despite the improvements in the Church's response in Minnesota that Barthel has witnessed, she remains critical of the response in many areas of the Church to sexual abuse of adults by clergy- which is what happened to her.
Barthel was abused by a now-laicized priest as an adult, in the context of a spiritual direction relationship. Her abuser, Jim Montanaro- who admitted to abusing other adult women- is now working as a photographer in Massachusetts.