Mr. Steve Pettit’s Own Disturbing Statements Concerning the GRACE Report

The following is what Mr. Pettit told the Bob Jones University faculty/staff in a recent staff meeting. Mr. Pettit has also stated nearly identical misleading information emails to me personally:

The allegations that we did not report to the police about some situations: When it comes to children under the age of 18, reporting abuse or assault is absolutely mandatory—every employee at BJU and BJA is required by law to make a report. We comply with what is known as Title IX, which means that educational institutions whose students receive federal funds are not responsible for reporting incidents for those 18 years or older. They cannot report without the consent of those over the age of 18 unless we believe there is imminent or immediate danger to a minor or vulnerable individual. We CAN’T report it—we can only do that with the consent of the one who is a victim. The GRACE report did not acknowledge our Title IX obligations in most of the incidents it cited. So when you are reading in the report that we didn’t report the incident, they were basing it on their philosophy—which is a moral obligation to report. From their perspective, it wasn’t the law; it was the moral obligation that GRACE placed upon our people as a responsibility to report.

Jim Berg was misled in his interview by GRACE to the point where Jim said he must have failed to report; when we actually were within the law because they were making the point of the moral obligation. [Dr. Pettit] was asked by Channel 4 why it is that we didn’t report because of the moral obligation concept—and he responded that we are morally obligated to obey the law of the federal government; and we were obedient to the law in that in some cases, we were not in a position where we could report.

It is terribly disheartening to read these untruths that Mr. Pettit is putting out there about the investigation and about GRACE. Bob Jones University was prohibited from receiving federal funds until 2007 – hence the University not subject to Title IX.

In my case, the counseling occurred in 1996. As an adult, I specifically asked Jim Berg how to report my sexual assaults and child sex-trafficking. To be more specific I asked Mr. Berg which agency it was I should contact, whether it should have been the Greenville County Sheriff’s Department -because I living in Greenville, SC at that time? Or should I have contacted the PA State Police or should I have contacted the Feds? Only a small portion of the counseling had anything to do with my marriage, because I chosen to leave my ex-husband and divorce proceedings were in progress! As described here, Mr. Berg actively spoke against notifying law enforcement. Berg advice was that I “would bring shame upon the cause of Christ – that would cause people to burn in hell for eternity.” Further stating “there is no point in you telling the cops because they would never believe you.” Mr. Berg overtly humiliated and shamed me to the point that I never once thought of reporting to law enforcement for another 20-plus years until GRACE heard and believed me.

To make it worse, in his last paragraph Mr. Pettit goes as far as to claim GRACE misled Jim Berg in his interview! GRACE quoted Mr. Berg’s own words in its report. They allowed Mr. Berg to talk and to talk and to talk. What about his all of his own books and sermons? What about all of his handouts, pamphlets, class lectures and DVD’s? What about Jim Berg’s new project, “Freedom that Lasts”? Is Mr. Berg misled by GRACE while he is writing and teaching?

Jim Berg

All of this makes me wonder if Mr. Pettit actually read the GRACE Report because Title IX gets multiple mentions.

Mr. Pettit, you may wish to ask your attorney about the SAvE Act which took effect March 2014.

More to come….

Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2015 Coming BJU

Each April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). During April 2015 the national conversation will focus on preventing and to build policies and programs that will respond well to sexual violence. In light of the Bob Jones University choosing to ignore the Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Community (G.R.A.C.E.) Investigation Report.

The national conversation will need focus on Bob Jones University too.
2015 SAAM poster
Recently, the president of the University has made some confusing statements to people in emails. Mr. Pettit has claimed to some that if the University were to follow Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Community (G.R.A.C.E) recommendations would cause the University to be in violation of Title IX and Clery Laws. (PDF)

Psalm 56-8

Sacrificial Thanksgiving Lamb

At one point I was living in the pastors home for awhile after I was released from the hospital following being burned.

On Thanksgiving Day Cleo and Felix were also invited to eat Thanksgiving Dinner at their home.  They knew of the allegations.  It was particularly known concerning the allegations against Felix because he had also been accused of attempting to molest another little girl from the Christian school.

I was scared.  Why had Cleo and Felix been invited?

Not only was I afraid of Cleo,  but I knew Cleo would most likely be on her best behavior in front of Mrs. Pastor’s wife.

I was terrified of what Felix would do if he had any opportunity at all.

I was not only scared for myself, I was scared for the pastor and the pastors wife two daughters who were minors at the time.  I knew Felix would try to do something to myself and to those girls.

Felix is the ultimate predator.

I followed the two teenage pastors daughters around as if I were glued to their backs.  Being teenage girls they were more than a little annoyed that they couldn’t shake their tale.

During the middle of dinner Felix excused himself to the restroom.  A few moments later Felix calls out that there wasn’t any toilet paper.

I knew what he was planning.  He was planning to “accidentally” expose himself and worse to which ever unfortunate girl was chosen to fetch a roll of toilet paper.  

I volunteered.  I thought I would have a better chance at avoiding Felix since I had become accustomed to his tricks.

I retrieved a roll of toilet paper from the hall closet.  And I attempted to quickly toss the roll inside the bathroom door.

Felix was too quick for me.  He grabbed my wrist and pulled me into the bathroom with him.  He told me to perform oral sex and threatened me….if I said a word, the pastor would kick me out of his home right away.

Within about a week or so, I was back on the farm with Cleo and Felix. At the time, I thought the pastor had somehow found out, but that wasn’t the case.  It turns out the reason  Cleo and Felix were invited for Thanksgiving was so Cleo could “restore” her relationship with me as it was the plan all along I was to return to the farm.

The two daughters didn’t know until many years later that little Fifth-Grade me was hell-bent on protecting them.  Although they remember Cleo and Felix being invited for that Thanksgiving dinner, When I told them as an adult, their eyes glazed-over as I recounted what happened.  I tend to think they still do not believe or comprehend what happened that Thanksgiving Day 1976.

To be honest, considering what I know the pastor knew, it is a baffling mystery why Felix allowed to be within ten miles of the pastors own young daughters.

Psalm 56-8

 

We are nearing the end of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

We currently have only a little over 2000 signatures.      

We can do better.  

Please sign and share the following petition asking all professing Christians to better address and deal appropriately with the subject of sexual abuse in faith communities.

A Public Statement Concerning Sexual Abuse in the Church of Jesus Christ by Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (G.R.A.C.E.).

 

 

I ‘Gave Into Abuse’

Serious Trigger Warning!

Someone once told me I was at least partly in the wrong because I had ‘given into abuse.’ 

First of all, I was a child.  But let’s leave that aside for now…allow me to explain.

There were times when I did ‘give into abuse’ for a plate of food and a glass of ice tea.

I remember without food; locked down in that basement. I smelled the aroma of their dinner through the floorboards over my head. It made me feel crazy. I often sat at the make-shift table (an old door that they laid across cinder blocks) and pretended to eat. In my mind, I saw an enormous plate of delicious food and bit at invisible mashed potatoes. That is how desperate I was to eat.

Starvation will make you crazy. It will literally eat away at your brain making your thoughts unclear and your responses erratic; Cleo and Lou knew this and used that knowledge as a tool. They used to lock me a basement (or outside in the barn) after the ‘customers’ were finished.

To fight loneliness I had elaborate fantasies about “The Six Million Dollar Man” crashing into the house to rescue me. Rushing in, he would explain how the earth swallowed him whole and he was trapped inside it. How he battled demons through fire pits of molten lava to save me and that’s why it took so long. But then I opened my eyes and faced–reality. “The Six Million Dollar Man” would never rescue me. I had been forgotten, like a dirty rag in a landfill. No one cared what happened to me, I was the unlovable “damn kid.” “Damn kid” was what Cleo called me.

On occasion I would only get to eat if I ‘earned’ it. ‘At times, it meant I had to beg these “customers” to abuse me so I could ‘earn’ food.

This particular time, there were no customers for a few days. I was in the basement and my Cleo decided a few days before that I would eat again would make me compliant to do a specific disgusting sexual act one particular ‘customer’ wanted. 

I was so hungry. I remember Cleo coming down the basement stairs. She stood in front of me and told me this particular man had arrived.  She asked me if I were ready to eat.  Cleo  took me to the kitchen where she showed me  fried chicken, mashed potatoes, string beans. She put the food on a plate. On the counter sat a picture of iced tea. He said, “and you want this,” he said, (motioning to the food).

As I reached for the plate he said, “Tell me you want me.”

I gave in and said yes to him. When he finished with me, he placed the plate of chicken, mashed potatoes and string beans and a glass of ice tea on the table.

I ate too quickly and vomited.

Yes, for a plateful of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, string beans, and a glass of iced tea I ‘gave into abuse.’

For those who would criticize me of “giving into abuse,” I dare say if it he or she were the one that were locked in that basement, given the “choice” of dying from hunger and dehydration, they would choose to ‘give into abuse’ too. 

This wasn’t the only time I had to choose between eating and ‘giving into abuse’ for this customer.  I think it was part of his fantasy.’

It wasn’t about giving into abuse. It was about survival.

Psalm 56-8

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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Would you please be so kind and sign the following petition asking all professing Christians to better address the subject of sexual abuse?

A Public Statement Concerning Sexual Abuse in the Church of Jesus Christ by Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (G.R.A.C.E.).

 

 

Angel at the Train Station

One freezing winter morning, probably about zero degrees Fahrenheit, I remember walking to the bus stop.  Upon arriving, I realized no one else who caught the same bus was present.  It was then I realized I had missed the school bus. There was a cold light rain falling.

I was consumed with fear. I couldn’t go home. The train station was nearly empty. So I sat down inside the station on a cold metal bench with my ragged coat and cried.

After awhile, a man approached me, knelt in front of me and asked me what was wrong. I told him, through sobs, of how I walked to the bus stop this morning, and how frightened I felt to go home because I just knew I would get in trouble. He told me that he would walk me home and explained school had been cancelled because sleet was falling

He held out his hand and he walked me home.

When we arrived at the farmhouse, Cleo was still asleep.  Lou met us at the door. Lou was still hung-over from drinking the night before.  The man explained about how school was cancelled and he made sure I arrived home safely.
Later that day the police paid a visit.  Lou put me in the basement and told me to not make a sound as he locked the basement door. I could hear the officer asking if there was a little girl who lived there.  Lou denied it.  The officer asked if he could look around.  I could hear footsteps above me.  Soon, however, the officer thanked Lou for his time and drove away.

I do not know how long I would have sat there at the train station if that man hadn’t approached me.  I was terrified of being punished for missing the bus.   I don’t remember if he ever told me his name.  I don’t even remember what he looked like. What I do know is, he was kind and he attempted to get help.  He was an Angel at the Train Station to a freezing, cold, abused, neglected, terrified little 7 year-old-girl. So many others passed me by … but my angel saw a need and reached out a hand to help.

Do angels call the police?  I don’t know.

Even so, I don’t blame the cop. If you didn’t know to look for the basement door tucked under the stairs, you wouldn’t have found them … or me either.

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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Would you please be so kind and sign the following petition asking all professing Christians to better address the subject of sexual abuse?

A Public Statement Concerning Sexual Abuse in the Church of Jesus Christ by Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (G.R.A.C.E.).

Psalm 56-8

Melted Soap and Pleas to Jesus for Escape

I mentioned here when Lou became ill the responsibility for his care fell upon me.   As Lou declined as a result of his disease process, he needed more and more assistance until it came to the point Lou needed assistance getting in and out of the bathtub.  In reality I don’t know for sure how tall Lou was. but to me as a young girl he seemed like a giant.  I was underweight and shorter than everyone my age.  My clumsy attempts to transfer Lou left both of us frustrated and exhausted.

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One particular afternoon, the moment I walked in the house from school Cleo hit me, bloodied my nose, knocking me to the floor in the process.  Cleo was standing over me cursing at me—I was irresponsible and wasteful. She was yelling at me to “admit it.” I was wracking my brain as to what it was Cleo wanted me to admit.  Finally, she grabbed a hunk of my hair and pulled me upstairs to the bathroom where Cleo pointed to the bar of Lou’s Irish Spring—which by that time was not much of a bar.  It had dissolved in bottom of the tub. I had dropped and forgotten it as I hurried to help Lou with his bath that morning before running down the farms long chipped-rock driveway. Then further down the road to the spot near the train station where I needed to catch the big yellow school bus at 7:15am.

After Cleo finished physically and verbally abusing me for being irresponsible and wasteful, she hissed, smoothing her dress, “clean up.  The pastor is coming.” I sat down on the side of the tub and cried. And, I prayed.  I plead with Jesus to take me away.  I plead for the rapture.  I plead for my death. I looked over at the sink where I saw Lou’s straight razor and longed for death.  I had heard people who did that went to hell. What did that matter? I was already in hell.  As I sat on the side of the tub, I heard car tires on the chipped-rock drive, I peaked out of the window and noticed the pastors faded blue Ford parked in front of the house.  Although I couldn’t make out what was being said, I could hear the voices of the pastor, Cleo and Felix speaking with each other.

Time to get myself together.  As I passed the bathroom sink I was once again tempted to pick up and escape by way Lou’s sharp straight-edge —It was going to be yet another long night.

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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Would you please be so kind and sign the following petition asking all professing Christians to better address the subject of sexual abuse?

A Public Statement Concerning Sexual Abuse in the Church of Jesus Christ by Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (G.R.A.C.E.).

Psalm 56-8

“It’s All Her Fault!”

It wasn’t too long after I was discharged from the hospital that Lou was accused of molesting another little girl.  It was a daughter of someone who used to help out on the farm.

Lou was out on bail.

Lou had also been diagnosed with a lung cancer.  Lou smoked both cigarettes and cigars.  When he wasn’t smoking Lou was chewing tobacco.  Lou had a definite addiction to nicotine.

I remember Lou had to wear Oxygen.

Cleo had little time.  Cleo screeched about how much of a burden Lou was and how he was now worthless.  According to Cleo, Lou was unable to “earn his keep.”

I tried to care for Lou as best a sixth-grade little girl could.  In addition to my other “responsibilities” Cleo also expected me to keep up Lou’s chores around the farm.  Milking and feeding the cows.  Feeding the horses.  Feeding the other animals.  Mucking the stalls.

Cleo savagely beat and punished me for my inability to keep up with the responsibilities of running a working farm and caring for a near-invalid.

I had missed most of the latter winter and all the spring quarter of school in fifth grade because of being burned.   Somehow I was promoted to grade 6 without knowing what a fraction was….

As the beginning of my 6th grade year rolled around, Cleo made it clear I was to finish all of my farm chores before school and begin the afternoon/evening chores at once upon my returning from school.

Cleo was back and forth as she was running her real estate office in Philadelphia.  At least that was her story.  In reality she was running a prostitution business.  Cleo was arrested by Philly PD more than once for promoting prostitution out of a home she owned in Philadelphia.   Cleo’s second hand man for her business in Philadelphia was a young thug named Felix.

I was attending the same Christian school of which I had been long enrolled. I missed more days of school than I attended that, but no one appeared to care.

At one point, Cleo brought Felix out to the farm to ‘help’.  I used to call him, “Felix the Cat” because he possessed the talent of sneaking up, and pouncing seemingly out of nowhere.

Felix assaulted me at his pleasure.

It was a cold bright sunny day in February and I had attended school on that day.  I returned home from school.  Cleo and Felix weren’t at the farm.

I walked in the front door of the farmhouse.  Lou was quiet and still. Something was wrong.  Why was wrong with his head?

I tried to call for help but couldn’t tell the operator where the farm was located.  This was before 9-11 was implemented in the rural area where the farm was located.

I was hysterical.

I don’t know how long it was before I remembered the nurse who had helped me when I was burned.  She used to buy hay from Cleo.  When the nurse found out I was back in Cleo’s care, the nurse had given me her phone number instructed me to call her if I ever needed help.

I had written the nurses number on the tag inside my little red boots.  I wore my red boots almost constantly.  I tore off my boot and dialed her number.

I don’t remember what I said.  Within minutes the police arrived, followed by the nurse a few minutes later.

I was on the porch, pacing back and forth.  A Pennsylvania state trooper was doing his best attempting to comfort a sobbing, terrified, hysterical child, but I wouldn’t allow him near me.

The nurse sat down on the front porch steps and held me as I sobbed.  She sat there rocking and attempting to comfort me as police cleared the scene and the coroners office crew removed Lou’s body.  I remember the nurse telling the crew removing Lou’s remains that they needed to take Lou’s body out of the back door instead of past me.

The crew removing Lou’s body obediently did as instructed.

At some point Cleo drove up.  I don’t remember if someone had called Cleo.  However the State Trooper who had attempted to calm me met Cleo as she was getting out of her car.

He gave Cleo the news.  Lou was dead.

Cleo pointed at me and screamed, “She killed him! She was supposed to take care of him! It’s all her fault!”

Both the state trooper and the nurse were shocked at Cleo’s outburst and said I was in no way responsible for Lou’s death.

Lou’s death was ruled a suicide.

For many years–even well into adulthood, deep down inside I believed I was somehow responsible for Lou’s death.

The scene I came home to that cold, sunny afternoon haunts me until this day.

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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Would you please be so kind and sign the following petition asking all professing Christians to better address the subject of sexual abuse?

A Public Statement Concerning Sexual Abuse in the Church of Jesus Christ by Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (G.R.A.C.E.)

Psalm 56-8