Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee is set to meet following a scathing report into abuse and cover-up, SNAP Responds
(For Immediate Release May 24, 2022)
The 288-page bombshell report into abuse and cover-up within the Southern Baptist Convention released this past Sunday may be new to many outside of our space, but for survivors and advocates, this report is really just an affirmation and validation of the truths that survivors of abuse within the SBC have been trying to bring to light for years. The reality is survivors of abuse within Baptist communities have been sounding the alarm for decades. Absent survivors like Christa Brown, Amy Smith, David Pittman, and others, we believe this issue would still be shrouded in darkness, and to that point, every parishioner in the SBC should be grateful for the efforts of survivors who have done more to protect children in these churches than the SBC's leadership themselves.
When the SBC Executive Committee meets today, they should, for the safety of children and the healing of survivors, immediately make public the list of 700+ names of ministers accused of sexual abuse the SBC has secretly kept for years, regardless of how incomplete it may be. There is no reason for this information to stay shrouded in secrecy when it could help protect children today.
In our view, naming potentially dangerous predators beats naming none and encourages others who may have suffered similar harm to come forward and begin their healing journey and help to hold those responsible, accountable. Every individual that is disclosed may prevent one more girl or boy or adult from being sexually violated and traumatized for life.
It is clear to us that this new abuse report shows that SBC officials have acted recklessly and callously for one main reason: to shield themselves and self-persevere. In other words, they're putting concern for money above concern for children. We know the quickest, easiest, and most responsible way to begin reversing years of self-serving secrecy is to release these names now. Waiting until the Anaheim conference or kicking the can down the road in any other way, is inexcusable and further extends the cover-up and pain for victims.
We firmly believe that no institution is capable of policing itself and we believe that it is incumbent on the Attorney General in all 50 states to look closely into how SBC churches have operated within their states and whether there are crimes that can be prosecuted. Now that the attention is squarely on the SBC and their decades-long mishandling of sexual abuse cases, we are confident that survivors who have been shamed and scared into silence will feel a renewed call to come forward, and we believe that it is attorneys general to whom reports should be made.
CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected] 267-261-0578) David Clohessy, SNAP St Louis, MO.(314-566-9790, [email protected]) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President ([email protected] 814-341-8386)
(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)