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:
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 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.
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.