Date of Award
Dr. Bill Viser
Dr. Byron Eubanks
Dr. Terry DeWitt
Sexual abuse is a tragic reality of living in a fallen world. Though abuse of any kind is inexcusable, Christians know that it is the product of the evil, sinful hearts of mankind. Unfortunately, churches have not escaped the grasp of this evil; sexual abuse is as much a reality for God’s people as it is for the rest of the world. No one is untouchable, and everyone must be aware of the truth; however, I will caution readers that this paper discusses dark, horrible practices that can bother anyone, especially survivors and others with firsthand experiences of abuse. I begin with an attempt to capture the prevalence of abuse within Protestant churches as well as discussing general profiles of survivors and perpetrators. Thousands of men, women, and children experience sexual abuse by ministers, leaders and congregation members as well as within their own church-going families. The cases of sexual abuse carry a general profile that can be helpful in understanding how the abuse occurs. I then provide a summary of resources and literature available to churches, families, and individuals. Finally, I provide a number of key responses from several individuals who have dealt with church sexual abuse through interviews with numerous pastors, counselors, and other experts.
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Knight, Madeline Grace, "Sexual Abuse in the Protestant Church" (2021). Honors Theses. 791.