Friday, December 12, 2014

while they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption..., 2 Peter 2:19

NYTimes |  For decades, officials at Bob Jones University told sexual assault victims that they were to blame for their abuse, and to not report it to the police because doing so would damage their families, churches and the university, according to a long-awaited independent report released Thursday.

Bob Jones, an evangelical Christian institution in Greenville, S.C., displayed a “blaming and disparaging” attitude toward abuse victims, according to 56 percent of the 381 current and former students and employees who replied to a confidential survey and said they had knowledge of how the university handled abuse cases. About half the 166 people surveyed who identified themselves as abuse victims said the university actively discouraged them from going to the police.
In interviews with investigators and in written comments, some respondents detailed hurtful, often startling treatment.
“I was abused from the ages of 6 to 14 by my grandfather,” one respondent said. “When I went for counseling I was told: ‘Did you repent for your part of the abuse? Did your body respond favorably?’ ” The person reported being told by a university official that going to the police “tore your family apart, and that’s your fault,” and “you love yourself more than you love God.”
Another person said that at Bob Jones, “abuse victims are considered ‘second-rate Christians.’ ” And another said that university staff consistently told victims “that they bore the sin of bitterness and that they should not report abusers.”

Some people quoted in the report said Bob Jones University had shattered their faith, along with their psyches. The university made God out to be “someone who turns his back when children are harmed and then mocks and shames the child further,” one said, while another said, “by the time I left B.J.U., I didn’t think God loved me at all.”

The investigators’ recommendations included taking unspecified action against the university’s chancellor, Bob Jones III, who was president from 1971 to 2005, a potentially explosive idea at an institution where the founding family’s authority has gone unquestioned.


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