When men, mostly clergy, start opining on sex abuse in churches, almost always the discussion goes in a straight line to false accusations, presumably because we have all had friends or colleagues who were supposedly falsely accused and they suffered because of it. This flips the matter on it’s head and presumes the low single digit percentages of those falsely accused should be our concern rather than the 90+ percent of those who were abused. This may not be the intended result but it looks like the actual result.
Happens every time there is a discussion of the subject dominated by men, especially ministers.
The estimable Adam Blosser takes one aspect of the issue and offers it for discussion and reaction here. The ensuing discussion may have some value but I’d guess that it is not encouraging to victims of abuse coming forward with disclosure about their abuse.
Maybe it’s time to shut up and learn some things.
The ERLC has made the online training free. You can access it here. I gave a brief review of that training back in June when it was released. The online course has twelve lessons and totals about five hours of viewing. It can be done it small segments. You don’t have to set aside most of a day to go through it.
At times, discussion here sounds like a typical pastor’s conference where the brethren all have a story, an opinion, and there are some who never tire of displaying their ignorance. We can do better. Only a couple of women participate in this. So far as I am aware, there are no abuse victims who have commented although I’d guess that some have read.
It would be helpful to read some of the SBC critics and through them the stories of victims, how they were ignored, disbelieved, and abused again by clergy when they came forward. It’s not pleasant reading. Try Wartburg Watch for this.
But, let’s have a few people who do more than pool their ignorance. The CaringWell resource is free. There’s no excuse for not taking the time to get better educated on this. Victims have voices there. View CaringWell, then discuss.
Is it lost on anyone who reads this that our system of autonomy is on ugly display? That is, no one can be required to take this or any other training. The “SBC” cannot require this or anything else of those whom SBC churches ordain to the ministry. Thankfully, our seminaries and mission boards do have these materials as training requirements prior to graduation or appointment.
For a shorter course, just an awareness training, try MinistrySafe. This requires that the church sign on for a fee to the MinistrySafe system. That initial training is under two hours and covers believing the victim and other aspects of what is necessary to keep your church or ministry safe. My church uses this and all volunteers and staff have to complete the awareness training.