On May 15, 2022, a report was released detailing rampant sexual abuse within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) along with widespread efforts to ignore victims and cover-up allegations. The report included a list of hundreds of credibly accused offenders with abuses spanning decades. If you or a loved one suffered sexual abuse at any church in the Southern Baptist Convention, you deserve justice.
At Estey & Bomberger, LLP, we are passionate about holding perpetrators of sexual abuse and the institutions that protect them accountable for their actions. We have a 100 percent success record in sexual abuse cases and will fight for justice on your behalf.
The Extent of Sexual Abuse Within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)
The report, published by independent investigators at Guidepost Solutions, offered a list of over 700 names, more than 400 of which were affiliated with the SBC. The list was collected by an employee of the SBC and includes church volunteers, staff, and leadership, including those at the top of the church’s organization ladder. While the data collection began in 2007, incidents dating as far back as the 1960s were uncovered. Recently, we wrote at length about the report.
Despite the size of the list and the number of cases in the report, the unfortunate reality is that most cases of sexual abuse go unreported to the police and never reach the court system. Given that there are some 47,000 churches in the Southern Baptist Network, the true number of both perpetrators and victims is likely much, much higher.
The SBC Executive Commitee’s response to allegations and treatment of victims also plays a role. The report indicates that the SBC’s sole focus was to avoid liability for sexual abuse perpetrated by members of it’s churches. They guarded information, ignored credible reports, and gaslit and mistreated victims.
Rather than focus on the abuses, the response was often to belittle, denigrate and vilify those who tried to bring the sexual abuse to light. While protecting themselves, this type of response also creates an environment that protects and enables abusers.
What Should Survivors Do?
The trauma of sexual abuse can make it difficult for survivors to come forward. In many cases, they may feel as though they are being abused all over again. While no one can compel survivors to come forward, we have found that the legal process can help provide closure and some semblance of justice for victims. No amount of money can prevent the abuse from happening, however, a lawsuit can recover compensation for the impact the abuse had on victims lives.
Sexual abuse can dramatically impact a person’s relationships, academic achievement, and career prospects. It can leave lasting emotional and psychological effects that necessitate long-term therapy. Additionally, a lawsuit – and in cases where abuse is widespread such as this – can change how organizations respond to future abuse and potentially prevent it from happening again.
How Estey & Bomberger LLP Can Help
At Estey & Bomberger LLP, we have dedicated our practice to representing victims of institutional abuse because it is our duty and moral obligation to protect the vulnerable and innocent members of our society. We believe that our efforts have improved the lives of our clients and will continue to bring about real changes the institutions that we trust to care for our children. We have significant experience taking on large organizations such as school districts, religious organizations, and youth sports organizations and understand what it takes to be successful.
If you or a loved one have suffered sexual abuse from a staff member, pastor, volunteer or anyone else associated with a church in the Southern Baptist Convention, we are here when you are ready. Call 1-800-925-0723 or fill out our contact form for a free, confidential case evaluation.