Dear Stephen Jones, It’s About the People YOUR University Hurt! OWN IT!


Stephen Jones calls G.R.A.C.E. Witness “coward” on twitter.

Stephen Jones calls someone a coward

Honestly, Stephen Jones,  it isn’t about you nor your personal family friends.  (Nor the University’s pet students of your personal friends who get away with running the  facebook page BOJE.  (LINK)
Rick Alitzer

Sermon Audio  Decision Not To Drink Alcohol by Rick Alitzer.

Dear BJU, It's Not Always About YOU. Sometimes It's About The People You've Hurt.

Dear BJU,
It’s Not Always About YOU.
Sometimes It’s About The People You’ve Hurt.

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Please follow THIS LINK demanding  Bob Jones University honor the terms of their original agreement with Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (G.R.A.C.E.) by rehiring G.R.A.C.E. and allowing them to complete the investigation of sexual abuse at BJU.

Please add your name. Doing so will only takes a few seconds.

Thanks so much.

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My GRACE Experience

I was freaking for weeks before I arrived at the location where I was to be interviewed by the Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (G.R.A.C.E)  Investigative Team.  I had spent the entire night before my interview awake, crying on and off in my hotel room.

GRACE
Then…here I was–waiting to go into that interview.  All I kept thinking of were ways to bolt out of there!

I stood up because I just couldn’t sit still any longer.

Then the lead investigator stepped out and greeted me.

Now I was really silently FREAKING OUT!

I had a silent conversation with myself.

It went something like this:

“You’re safe.  Those images of your abusers aren’t real.  That happened a long time ago….Those are flashbacks.  You’re safe.  You’re fine.  No one is going to hurt you here.”

“Listen, Cathy.   Everyone you know who has been interviewed has said how these people are NOT judgmental and cruel.”

“These folks facial expressions don’t display anything even closely similar to your abusers or to the smirking face of Jim Berg.”  

“Your finally honed creep detector isn’t going off, is it?  You’ll be fine.”

“You’ve traveled a long way to be here today.  This may be the only chance you’ve had from a solely Christian Group to tell your story to people who are interested in hearing your account— the truth.”  

“You have lived through much worse than merely sitting and talking to these people.  If they’re mean or cruel, leave. But at least give them the chance to prove they are not like your deceitful, guilty abusers who have surrounded the Truth with the Bodyguard of lies.”

Once I had that little silent “chat” with myself and “talked” myself into entering that room.  The entire G.R.A.C.E. Investigative Team were professional, kind, understanding and affirming throughout the entire process before, during and in any follow-up communication after the first interview.    Despite those times where on more than one occasion, I once again would panic, freeze-up, or just want to shut down.   They remained professional, kind, understanding and affirming despite a few occasions where I lashed out of them because fear indeed was doing its A+ grade work on me….

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If the G.R.A.C.E. Investigative Team are reading….
I struggle to find the words to express my gratitude to each-and-every one of you.  There have been far too many in my life who have said things to me, or concerning me, to cover up my torture, rape, and physical abuse with insincerity wrapped in saccharine while ignoring or denying my pain and experiences. Trying to dismiss them away.

I am truly grateful for all you all have done and what you all will continue to do.  Thank you.

Cathy


Psalm 56-8

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Please follow THIS LINK demanding  Bob Jones University honor the terms of their original agreement with Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (G.R.A.C.E.) by rehiring G.R.A.C.E. and allowing them to complete the investigation of sexual abuse at BJU.

Please add your name. Doing so will only takes a few seconds.

Thanks so much.


Hit and Run….

As a survivor of sexual exploitation, the most challenging aspect of my recovery is when it began.

I was abused from such a young age yet, at the time,  it actually seemed normal to me … just another chore on the farm.

Cathy 4th grade pic
By 4th or 5th grade, my body had been pushed  so far by the level of abuse (and the number of those who sexually assaulted me) that my physical senses became numb and my mentality reduced rape to just another one of my farm chores. Another chore I must comply with obediently– just like helping milk the cows, clean the stalls, or feed the animals.  Yet I was still just a child.  A captive, abused child who did what she was told to avoid being beaten, have 8 to 9 inch hat-pins poked through my upper arms, or getting punched, kicked,  or burned.  I just thought all kids must live that way.

Then suddenly, I was at 13 or 14 living in the  fundamental pastor’s home.  I remember making a remark when it dawned on me all kids didn’t live the way I had lived on the farm.  The response I was given, “You knew it was wrong. You just want to make excuses.”
But, how could I know?  Looking back I remember I was very confused – confused and hurt.  What excuses?

I’ve been thinking about sexual abuse and assault. In particular, concerning how in too many of these crimes, it is as if the victim is a victim of a hit and run car accident. There seem to be some major differences, however.  While witnesses to a hit and run accident witnesses will run to the aid of the wounded victim, get the license plate number of the car, or stay to fill out a police report, the same rules don’t seem to apply to sexual crimes.  During nearly 20 years as an nurse, I do not recall one incident when a person was blamed for being a victim of a hit and run. All outrage and blame was directed toward the driver who hit someone, caused multiple trauma as a result, but just took off without stopping.

Within too many churches and Christian organizations, we see the perpetrator ‘runs the victim over’ but could care less about the traumatic wounds s/he has caused. Then to add to the victims wounds, far too many church leaders and church members walk or drive by heckling the victim concerning what a shame it is the victim is so wounded.

What a pity the survivor isn’t capable or needs assistance to get back to “normal”.

What a pity the survivor may still limp around with emotional, psychological, and spiritual problems.

“Why can’t you just get over it?”

God forbid, the survivor is left with some long-term issue or disability such as Clinical Depression, PTSD, anxiety, or substance abuse problems. But even when that happens, many Christian leaders, pastors and church members run over the victim again and again – often reversing to run over the victim again while the s/he is attempting to get out of the way.

I have even taken care of a few drunk hit and run pedestrian victims. I don’t recall even the drunk hit and run victims being blamed.

Let’s look at  the same scenario with a sexual assault victim.

The victim will be told if she wasn’t drunk she wouldn’t have been raped.

“What was she doing walking down that street?”

“What were you wearing?”

“You wanted it.  Now you just have buyers remorse.”

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It’s common for a survivors of such crimes to be told such things as “I understand why you’re bitter, but….”.

“I hate to add more to your concerns but this all falls from a consequence of your actions.”

Pastors, nouthetic counselors or Christians leaders rarely, if ever, use the word pain when speaking to or about the victim of these crimes.  Nor do they tend to acknowledge a crime was even committed. The church and Christian leaders are at the same place general society was in the ’70’s when dealing with these crimes. Perhaps even worse in some cases.

church leaders abuse

My Plea to Bob Jones University

First a little background information.  On Thursday, February 6, 2014  Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (G.R.A.C.E) announced the organization had been terminated by Bob Jones University.

This news is extremely hurtful— but is confusing at the same time.

Bob Jones University’s President sent a letter marked “Confidential” to Boz Tchividjian terminating G.R.A.C.E on Jan. 27, 2014, yet both Stephen Jones and Bob Jones were silent concerning the firing of G.R.A.C.E.

It is unknown why it is Bob Jones University neglected to publicly announce its decision, however after waiting a full nine business days on February 6, 2014, it was the G.R.A.C.E. Investigative Team who notified its witnesses with the following email:

GRACE email

Followed by this public announcement on the G.R.A.C.E. website.

The following is from my heart:

I plead on behalf of myself and for others who have no voice; Stephen Jones and the BJU Board members, be strong and Godly leaders. Please honor your commitment you PROMISED survivors.

Bob Jones initiated hiring G.R.A.C.E.

Work together honestly with Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (G.R.A.C.E.) in good faith.

Without games.

Without spin.

Without selfish motives by the school to spruce up its “Show Window.”

—In good faith, finish the job.

Please stop turning away from survivors of the crimes G.R.A.C.E. has been investigating for the last year.

  • All of us are former students and graduates of Bob Jones Academy and/or Bob Jones University.
  • Some of us are grown-children of BJU’s faculty and staff— their sons and daughters.
  • Some are even former faculty/staff and BJU Press authors.
  • Some of us could have been your future if we hadn’t been discarded as worthless wounded.

I beg you to not only see us as we currently are, but I also beg that you see the potential of all we were meant to be. Our potential we could have been if we had been handled correctly when we divulged our painful assaults or molestation’s.

We were One. Of. YOU!

We are BJU–or we were, unless you think of us as mere rubbish. But the truth is, we are not trash that needs to be discarded, without thought or consequence. We are human beings who have been terribly wounded by our abuse, and re-victimized at your University by dorm supervisors, dorm counselors, other faculty members who are “unlicensed counselors” and Administrators in the name of God while students at BJA/BJU.

Our cries may have been heard by the Lord, but the University was deaf.

All most of us ever wanted was a sincere “I’m sorry”, (Rest assured most survivors have become professionals at seeing through insincerity.) Not money. Certainly not media exposure.  If BJU is unwilling to do the things it to which it has already committed, what other recourse do we have left?

It boils down to accepting to allow the G.R.A.C.E. Investigation to finish. Accept G.R.A.C.E.’s report graciously whether BJU agrees with every single one of G.R.A.C.E.’s findings or not.

Be willing to repent as you promised survivors for the wrong way these crimes were handled in the past.

Be willing to really listen and weep with those who weep as the GRACE Team has been doing all of this time.

Be willing to truly mend up the wounded of the past and protect the innocent in the future.

We have been victims, Stephen Jones.

We’re now survivors.

This is not going away.

We won’t quit until BJU chooses to do right.

Not only for us, but to make sure those current or future BJU students who may divulge being a victim of molestation and who will face sexual assault/rape in the future will both be protected and their claims handled correctly by law enforcement. Not shoved under the carpet by Bob Jones University.

Once again, we are not going away.

We will no longer be silenced.
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Please follow THIS LINK demanding  Bob Jones University honor the terms of their original agreement with Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (G.R.A.C.E.) by rehiring G.R.A.C.E. and allowing them to complete the investigation of sexual abuse at BJU.

Please add your name. Doing so will only takes a few seconds.

Thanks so much.

Psalm 56-8