SNAP Stands with Survivors from the Southern Baptist Convention
We are grateful to these intrepid journalists for looking deeply into this issue. As this article shows all too well, abuse by clergy is not just a Catholic issue. In any situation where the powerful have authority and autonomy over the vulnerable there are bound to be tragic situations like this. We have seen this play out from Hollywood to Michigan State University, and in churches across the globe.
What is critical is that the article lead not only to awareness of this issue in the Southern Baptist Convention, but to immediate and decisive action by church and law enforcement officials. We hope that anyone who has seen, suffered, or suspected abuse by Southern Baptists – or any other religious figure – will immediately contact the local police, prosecuting attorneys, state attorneys general, and the Department of Justice. It is critical that law enforcement officials at every level of government look into these cases and determine what actions they are able to take immediately to keep the vulnerable safe and to ensure that those who have abused children or adults are removed from any position of power that would let them hurt others.
More and more people are finding their voice and the ability to speak out about heinous crimes such as those described in yesterday's article. It is critical that we as a nation continue to listen to and learn from victims as they share their experiences. By believing and advocating for survivors, we can learn from their trauma how to prevent cases like this in the future, to ensure that no child or adult is ever hurt by an authority figure that is meant to care for them.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)