This morning, I found out about an incident of CSA, which took place at a church just down the street from us. We had even attended as a family a few times. Everyone was warm and welcoming.
She was a nurse, taking my blood pressure and checking my temperature. She asked me if I’d heard the story and soon confided in me that she suspected her son may also have been assaulted by this same man (see link to the article below). I listened carefully as she took my blood. I advised as best I could under the circumstances. Please join me in praying for the best outcome possible for her children and all those precious children at Newspring Church of North Charleston.
The question is: how do we effectively screen perpetrators with no prior record when families of children they may have previously assaulted are too afraid to report? My family made that choice for me and I carry that burden to this day.
Not talking about sexual assault, not reporting it, not responding to warning signs only protects the perpetrator. Brushing it under the rug like Congress did with Dr. Christina Ford is a clear signal that our country is okay with sexual assault as a necessary evil in a free society. I do not accept that.
This distraught mother initiated the conversation by expressing her desire to go to a firing range where she might get some frustration out of her system. I asked her about her frustration and why she carries a gun, expecting another political conversation about the second amendment. She said “as a single mom, I wanted to protect my kids.” That’s when the conversation unexpectedly turned to the recent incident at Newspring and the changes she’d noticed in her five year old son.
Tragically, all the guns in the world cannot protect us against the predator within, those with whom we entrust our kids.
The irony is stinging and at this point, my faith in humanity is all but gone. We, all of us, are impossible failures. But I carry on because I believe God needs me and those broken few who are willing to pour out our souls, to speak out, even when so many say we should be silent.
Here, but for the grace of God. My heart is breaking for these families tonight.
I’m glad she confided in me and I hope I helped her to understand a little better what she needed to do next. From what she said, I’m sure she is doing all the right things. She has reported. She is getting him counseling. She is talking.
I pray the damage done by this particular perpetrator is limited to the one incident reported below. Sadly, I suspect it isn’t. Details of numerous assaults are coming to the surface daily about this breach in a system that broke down, despite all the safeguards put in place.
I‘m imagining how the perpetrator’s behaviors might have been detected and reported before any harm was done. Perhaps a light should have gone off when this man seemed eager to take children to the bathroom alone. Hindsight is always 20/20.
There is a lawsuit that has been filed against the mega church, noting that the bathroom video surveillance was not reviewed until the accusations came forward. Protocols against one on one contact and closed doors were not followed. When people make assumptions based on their gut feelings, lives can be destroyed. I’m sure he came across as kind and trustworthy. It’s the same old story. But when will it end?
Please support the work of D2L.org, whose mission it is to train those who work with children to better protect them against situations like these. I was certified at one time to provide this training to caregivers. I’m thinking of updating my training so I can do something other than mourn the endless loss of innocence.
Here’s a link to the article for more information about this incident: