Investigating Sexual Abuse in the Canadian National Baptist Convention
After a shocking piece of investigative journalism unveiled two decades’ worth of sexual abuse within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the organization hired a third party organization to conduct a formal audit of its Executive Committee’s responses to allegations of sexual misconduct. The findings, published in a detailed report by Guidepost Solutions, paint a damning picture of widespread abuse within the SBC.
The scathing report illustrates a pattern of stonewalling victims of sexual abuse within America’s largest denomination of Protestants. Time and time again, when members of the church tried to speak out about the sexual misconduct of volunteers, pastors, deacons, youth pastors, and other Southern Baptists with formal roles within the church, they were met with disbelief, disinterest, or outright hostility from members of the church’s Executive Committee.
More concerned with protecting their reputations than protecting survivors of sexual abuse, people in leadership roles within the SBC’s Executive Committee took steps to try avoiding liability. These steps involved ignoring victims’ complaints, claiming disbelief, and refusing to take any kind of action due to the denomination’s decentralized structure.
The SBC does not have a firm hierarchy or central headquarters. Rather, it is a collection of affiliated member churchers who do not necessarily answer to a higher authority within the organization. Because of this, members of the Executive Committee were able to shrug off, ignore, or excuse bad behaviour at affiliated churches who acted autonomously of the larger institution. As a result, people convicted of heinous crimes– including the sexual abuse of children– could continue working in the ministry without informing or warning their current congregation.
Although Guidepost Solutions was only hired to investigate the Executive Committee’s response to sexual abuse complaints since the year 2000, the report showed evidence that similar tactics employed by the organization’s leadership could be traced back to the 1960s. Their findings show that, for at least the last twenty years, hundreds of congregants of all ages and genders lobbied sexual abuse complaints against people at all levels of the church, including volunteers, staff, and leadership. The hundreds of allegations include child abuse, grooming, and sexual assault.
The SBC boasts approximately 15 million members across the United States, making it the largest Protestant denomination in America. Documentation of widespread sexual abuse under its auspices and of its leadership’s apparent indifference to the suffering of countless victims have led to a reckoning within the church. It has also placed a good deal of scrutiny on the organization’s Canadian offshoot: the Canadian National Baptist Convention.
Upon reading the sobering report about sexual abuse in the SBC, the National Ministry Leader of the Canadian National Baptist Convention released a statement in which he revealed his request for the National Leadership Board to form its own Abuse Protection Task Force. The purpose of this task force would be to study the Canadian organization’s “current sexual abuse policies and recommend instruments and policies that will ensure the greatest protection and transparency possible is extended to every CNBC church.”
Allegations of sexual abuse within the Canadian National Baptist Convention are already being investigated. If you were the victim of sexual abuse, you deserve the chance to tell your story, to be heard, and to be granted justice. To learn how our sexual abuse lawyers may be able to help you pursue the accountability and compensation you are owed, contact us today for a free initial consultation.
How Our Sexual Abuse Lawyers May Be Able to Help
The hallmarks of sexual abuse include a misuse of power and a betrayal of trust. If a trusted authority figure– such as a member of the clergy– uses their position to coerce, manipulate, or threaten another person into engaging in non-consensual sexual activity, they have committed sexual abuse. Examples of sexual abuse include sexual assault, exploitation, grooming, and harrassment.
Survivors of sexual abuse committed by people affiliated with the Canadian National Baptist Convention may be entitled to compensation. By working with our sexual abuse lawyers, survivors may be able to file a civil lawsuit against the person who perpetrated the crime. Our sexual abuse lawyers may also be able able to help survivors pursue compensation from the organization itself, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Civil lawsuits are separate from any criminal proceedings that may be brought against the perpetrator. These actions allow survivors of sexual abuse to seek financial compensation for the harm they have suffered. There are several types of damages that survivors of sexual abuse may be able to recover through a civil lawsuit, including:
- Medical expenses: Survivors may be able to recover the cost of any medical treatment they have received as a result of the abuse, such as therapy or counseling.
- Lost wages: If the abuse has caused the survivor to miss work or lose their job, they may be able to recover the wages they would have earned during that time.
- Pain and suffering: Survivors may be able to recover damages for the physical and emotional pain and suffering they have experienced as a result of the abuse.
- And possibly more
There is no statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims. That means that, no matter how long ago your abuse occurred, you may still be able to work with Preszler Injury Lawyers to recover the compensation you deserve. To learn more about courses of actions that might be available to you, call us today and receive a free initial consultation with our sexual abuse lawyers.
Contact Preszler Injury Lawyers Today
Our sexual abuse lawyers are committed to providing crucial assistance to survivors. We appreciate how much courage it takes to speak about sexual abuse, and provide a safe, compassionate space for all prospective clients.
During a free initial consultation with our sexual abuse lawyers, you will have the opportunity to share as much or little as you would like. Our sexual abuse lawyers provide personalized, case-specific feedback during this cost-free, no-obligation first meeting. To learn how Preszler Injury Lawyers may be able to help you, schedule your free initial consultation today.