We applaud these brave women who are continuing their fight for justice after being abused by Rev. Patrick Edouard. Valerie and Anne Bandstra deserve praise for continuing forward with their lawsuits despite apparent attempts from church leaders to undermine the abuse that the Bandstra women suffered.
Sexual contact with a priest or reverend – someone who is supposedly God’s envoy on earth – involves an inherent power imbalance that undermines it and prevents it from being a true relationship. The fact that Rev. Edouard used this position and assumed authority as a counselor in order to groom and abuse these women – both sexually and financially – is indicative of exactly why this is a form of sexual abuse. We are disappointed, but not surprised, that church leaders in Pella refuse to acknowledge this.
We hope their lawsuit is successful and will encourage others who may have been abused by Rev. Edouard to come forward.
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