Saturday, February 3, 2007

Blaming the child-victim

In Tennessee, Southern Baptist pastor Vern Daugherty trashed a 14-year-old victim while speaking on behalf of a minister who pled guilty to child molestation charges: "I know that girl...she has caused problems."

She was 14! The guilty child-molesting minister was 28, married and a father to kids of his own. And there were other reported victims: three girls' parents complained about his inappropriate contact with their daughters.

Daugherty's comments reflect a dangerously ignorant attitude. Southern Baptist leaders should not stand silent but should denounce such comments and insist on educational training for any pastor who would give voice to such hateful ignorance.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

In this case, ignorance is not bliss. Pastor Vern displays the type of ignorance that allows sexual abuse to continue unhindered.

Anonymous said...

Why is it called "Stop Baptist Predators" and not "Stop Predators" Would you be less interested if they were not of any denomination? I hope not. If a predator is dismissed and or prosecuted by any organization then he will just go join another organization. One institution keeping records will not stop the problem. It appears that most are fairly intelligent people when it comes to hiding thier crimes. It needs to be somewhere where any organization can find out this information. If a predator from a religous organization knows he is "ON A LIST". Watch how quickly he will change denominations or go to another church that is not part of a larger organization. As far as I am concerned, If anyone is made aware of a child being molested and does not report it that should be at the least a felony! And zero tolerance should be what everyone stands for when it comes to child abuse period.

When an abuser is convicted what does he get? A slap on the wrist? The court system and their way of handling these situations only makes the predator worry about people close to them finding out. Not what the judicial system will do. If you are sincere about putting an end to child abuse then let's change the punishment. Fight to have the crime on the same level as a mass murderer, in other words corporal punishment. I doubt I will see this in your blog because I see you have your site set up so you can censor any blogs that may challenge your point of view. How closed minded, I feel like I am blogging in a third world dictator ruled country!

Matt said...

I think she is more interested in one denomination because that happened to be the denomination that the pastor was from that hurt her. More about revenge than an effective solution. Very sad.

Christa Brown said...

"Watch how quickly he will change denominations or go to another church that is not part of a larger organization." I agree, but I also know you have to start somewhere. I think many ministers start out as Southern Baptist ministers because it has well-known seminaries, and then they move to become independent or something else later on. So, if Southern Baptists would keep track of reported clergy perpetrators, it would stop some of them a lot sooner. And I certainly agree that, if Southern Baptists were to start keeping records on reported clergy molesters, that they should make the information available to other organizations (religious groups, YMCAs etc.) who might be conducting background searches on applicants.

I won't apologize for moderating my blog. I allow anonymous comments, as long as they're decent and don't get too repetitive, redundant or vitriolic, and there's plenty of blogs that don't allow anonymous comments at all.

And as for an "effective solution"? Along with other SNAP leaders, we made 5 very specific requests of Southern Baptist leaders. They're on the website. They're solutions that Catholics and other mainline Protestant groups are already putting into practice. Southern Baptists are way behind in addressing this problem, and that's a good reason to focus some attention on them. StopBaptistPredators is the voice of SNAP-Baptist and works with SNAP, an organization that has been effective in exposing hundreds of Catholic priest predators and many clergy predators in other faith groups. I'm proud of everything SNAP does, INCLUDING the work to StopBaptistPredators. Whatever the denomination, I don't think there's anything sad about working to make church kids safer. What's sad (and worse than sad....very dangerous) is how many others turn a blind eye and stay silent about abuse in churches.

Kaye Maher said...

Thank you for your website, which is helpful and informative. Thank you for your efforts in trying to make our churches a safer place to worship. Thank you for being a voice for victims who have not found their voice yet, having been silenced by shame, fear, grief, ridicule, intimidation. Thank you for being the voice for children and teens, molested or raped, or introduced to pornography by a trusted and respected minister. Thank you for shining a light where the evil of clergy sexual abuse should not be allowed to continue. Your light and voice have made a difference in this victim.