A 400-page report issued by a 3rd-party investigator into decades of systematic abuse was released recently. The recently-released report details how the Southern Baptist Convention systematically silenced and disparaged sexual abuse victims, ignored calls to stop predators, and resisted reform.
It concluded that leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention heavily focused on avoiding liability for their actions. The report stated that survivors were ignored and disbelieved when the accusations were brought to the Southern Baptist Convention.
Some of the key findings were:
- A small group of leaders continuously mislead the executive committee relating to abuse issues
- The leaders failed to inform its members of the risk of predators targeting the church due to a fear of lawsuits
- Leaders kept a private list of abusive pastors despite claiming it was impossible to stop them
- A former president was accused of sexually assaulting a woman and manipulating her into staying silent
The report is one of the most thorough and consequential regarding the systematic neglect and abusive practices institutions by a religious organization. Survivors say that this investigation should be used as a blueprint and applied to the numerous other organizations that have faced sexual assault charges and lawsuits in the past.