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Victims of Clergy in Southern Baptist Churches Want Public List of Sex Abusers [VIDEO]

Victims of Clergy in Southern Baptist Churches Want Public List of Sex Abusers [VIDEO]

The Southern Baptist Convention’s mishandling of sex abuse allegations may lead to the creation of a publicly accessible database of pastors and other church personnel known to be abusers. The proposed database is expected to be one of several recommendations presented to thousands of delegates attending this year’s national SBC meeting, scheduled for June 14-15 in Anaheim, California.

The “Offender Information System” was one of the key recommendations in a report released Sunday by Guidepost Solutions, an independent firm contracted by the SBC’s Executive Committee after delegates to last year’s national meeting pressed for an investigation by an outside third party.

The Guidepost report said survivors of abuse by SBC clergy repeatedly shared allegations with the Executive Committee, “only to be met, time and time again, with resistance, stonewalling, and even outright hostility from some within the EC.”

Lawyer and writer Christa Brown was sexually abused as a teen by the youth minister at her SBC church, and has been pressing the SBC since 2006 to create a publicly accessible database of known abusers. She was heartened that Guidepost was recommending such a system, but said questions remain about its implementation. “What is absolutely critical is that the local church cannot function as the default or presumed starting place for a survivor to try to obtain an investigation of clergy sex abuse,” she said. “If the local church is deemed to be a requisite first stop for survivors to pursue action, then many survivors’ voices will be choked in their throats before the sound is ever uttered.”

 

 

 

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