Relevant Magazine has published and excellent interview with Boz Tchividjian, the founder and executive director of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) titled “How Should Christians Respond To Abuse Situations Like The Duggars’?” Please read it.
GRACE is a non-profit ministry/organization which works to educate churches on Godly and appropriate responses to abuse situations within their own congregations, and within the culture at large. In between keeping six kids alive and doing laundry, I fantasize about working with GRACE full-time.
Boz Tchividjian is a former assistant state attorney, who served as chief prosecutor in the Sexual Crimes Division of the State of Florida, and who now teaches law at Liberty University.
Again, here is a link to the interview: How Should Christians Respond To Abuse Situations Like The Duggars’?
And, some excerpts:
Reporting it to the authorities will also show that child who is perpetrating the abuse the seriousness and gravity of their behavior, which is really critical. It probably provides the best opportunity for that young perpetrator to get substanative help. There are some studies today that show that of all categories of sex offenders, the category of sex offender that has the greatest likelihood of receiving treatment that actually works are the younger juvenile offenders.
Number two, parents have to make the victim the priority. That means that those parents have to separate that victim from the perpetrating child, which means the perpetrating sibling is the one that leaves the home, not the victim. That will show to the victim that Mom and Dad are taking this very seriously and that Mom and Dad believe them and are supportive of them.
I think especially as Christian parents, we’re called to love and serve the most vulnerable among us, and one of our children who has been sexually victimized is the most vulnerable one in the household, and we need to take immediate steps to care for that child. (read more)
I’ve encountered those victims 10, 15, 20 years later. And it’s a tragedy, because they don’t want anything to do with Jesus. And I understand it. Because the very ones who professed and represented Jesus turned their backs on them to care for and spend all of their time and resources on the very ones that eviscerated their lives through abuse.
So my prayer in the work we’re doing is trying to understand what is the Gospel-centered response this. (read more)
It’s not a simple topic, and I think a lot of people want to just simplify it, especially when we’re talking about abuse within the home. It’s not that simple. The simple aspect of this is—and I think this is really important for the Christian community to understand—that the sexual abuse of a child is a crime, regardless of where it happens and who perpetrates it. It’s never a mistake. It’s never sort of “a thing teenagers do.” It’s a crime.
I think one of the best demonstrations of grace a parent can give to a perpetrating child is to report that child to the authorities, because that’s when the child is going to get help. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but I think it’s the best demonstration of grace. (read more)
I’ve been tremendously encouraged by the response both privately and publicly to my previous post Sexual Abuse Is A Crime (why the Josh Duggar story needs to matter to Christians). However, a number of people have said the post raised more questions for them than answers. I totally get that. The subject raises a lot of questions for me! I hope to explore some of the questions in writing later this week, but for today, I think this interview by Relevent is an excellent starting place. Thank you so much for reading and being willing to explore these uncomfortable themes.
Do you have questions you want to air out and have discussed? Let me know in the comments.