HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - More than 30 million people worldwide and nearly 4,000 Mississippians were exposed in the Ashley Madison leak.
Clergy and therapists in the Pine Belt said they offer services to people who are direct and indirect victims of the site's data breach, whose slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair."
"We welcome everybody on that list to come here," Hattiesburg's Venture Church Pastor Jeff Clark said. "There's shame and there's guilt and there's hurt, but let that drive you to something good. Do some soul searching, and make this a journey."
Clark said his church offers counseling and classes directed toward all types of addicts, which are free of charge.
"Maybe this is a chance to work on some things," Clark said of couples who are struggling with the information leak. "Maybe this is a chance to forgive. Maybe this is a chance to get healing."
If a clinical approach is what a person needs, Pine Grove Behavioral Health's sex addiction program is available.
"We have counselors 24 hours a day here who can answer their questions," Gratitude program director Deborah Schiller said.
Schiller said the easy access to sites such as Ashley Madison are to credit for the massive amounts of people committing these unfaithful acts, and it affects more than just the perpetrator.
"It can be very traumatizing to find out that your world is not the way you thought it was," Schiller said of family and friends involved. "Often people love someone who may be on the list are just as much in crisis as the person themselves, so I would encourage them to get help for themselves.
To contact Venture Church, visit their website here.
To learn more about programs at Pine Grove, call 888-574-HOPE (4673).