advocacy

How I wish church leaders responded to questions (Day 6)

I wish leaders understood better what advocates are trying to accomplish when we ask for more information or question their decisions. We are a part of the community. We are not trying to bring it down or hurt you. We are trying to make sure victims of abuse are helped and further abuse is prevented. In today’s world, we have seen too many tragic news stories to take this as a given. (... read more ...)

How I came to realize the church has an abuse problem

It was the summer of 2018. Willow Creek had just imploded with the Chicago Tribume breaking the story of sexual harassment allegations against senior pastor Bill Hybels in March and the New York Times following up with a bombshell interview with Hybels’ former assistant Pat Baranowski in August. That very weekend co-lead pastor Steve Carter stepped down. Soon afterward, the other co-lead pastor, Heather Larson, and the entire Elder Board, stepped down. (... read more ...)

October 22, 2020 church abuse advocacy sankey

Investigating the truth is hard (Day 5)

The last movie I watched before lockdown was Knives Out, which is a very good murder mystery movie (97% on Rotten Tomatoes). I’m glad I got to see it because the other two movies I watched were mildly disappointing (Little Women) and devastatingly, depressingly, life-alteringly bad (The Rise of Skywalker), so it was nice to end on a good note. Sometimes advocacy feels like being in a murder mystery. Someone in this room murdered Mr. (... read more ...)

October 9, 2020 dailies church abuse advocacy

How bias makes leaders ignore allegations (Day 4)

Excuses leaders make when declining to investigate abuse or respond to victims and advocates: a list. If you’ve been a victim or advocate in church abuse, you’ve almost certainly been on the receiving end of one or more of these. It sounds like a playbook, but it isn’t. It’s just human nature. And you know what that means? (... read more ...)