Here’s a much-needed blog from PredatoryPastors.com – a locally-based (but unaffiliated) ministry near us – about the victim blaming that often occurs when a beloved or otherwise respected church leader is outed as a sexual predator.
I have been involved in many church abuse cases over the years, both as an attorney (now retired) and as local elder who has been asked to intervene on behalf of victims in other churches.
In my experience, victim blaming – and even outright trying to destroy the victim – always happens in cases involving an abusive but otherwise inspiring church leader.
Attempts to cover up the abuse and protect the abuser through personal attacks are not only directed against the victims, however, but also those who stand with them. I’ve seen it first hand in sexual abuse scandals involving Christ Chapel Assembly of God, Sovereign Grace Ministries, Bill Gothard, Frank Viola and others.
In fact, in the ongoing Frank Viola scandal it’s gotten so bad that they’ve begun to harass and even stalk the wives (including mine) of those who dare help his victims and mention his history of abuse – all in a desperate attempt to scare his victims by silencing us.
It’s time to stop the nonsense.
If the response to abuse is more about protecting the predatory leader, church or movement than the victims, then you, your church and your “movement” have a problem. In fact, I would argue that you are more like a cult than a church or legitimate move of God.
May we be the true Body of Christ, with eyes that see and hearts that embrace the victims.
Read more here …
~ Jim Wright