For victims of clergy abuse, it can seem as if silence is the only thing that answered their pleas for justice. For too long, religious organizations ignored the abuse taking place at the hands of their clergy, leaving those who suffered alone and afraid. And every year, we learn more about what was known and when it was known.
Outside firm releases report
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is the largest Baptist denomination in the world. An investigation was undertaken by a third-party firm to look into how the SBC has handled allegations of abuse by clergy – its report painted an unflattering picture.
According to the report, the SBC systematically mishandled allegations of sexual abuse. The church also intimidated victims and refused to take positive steps to reform and eliminate clergy abuse. Instead of taking action and caring for those who suffered, the SBC’s primary goal was to avoid liability, and it acted with this priority in mind for decades.
The DOJ steps in
On the heels of the report’s release, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched an investigation into the SBC and its entities. Although the DOJ itself has not publicly addressed the investigation, the SBC confirmed that it is underway. It has received subpoenas related to widespread sexual abuse problems.
Although it will likely be some time before details of the DOJ investigation are made public, victims of clergy abuse need not, and should not, wait to take action of their own. By contacting a professional who is experienced in clergy abuse cases, you can begin the process of holding the church accountable for its inaction.