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Here’s a profound example of someone who advocates for those who don’t have his story. He did not experience sexual exploitation, yet as a prosecutor, he processed many cases against sex-offenders, and now has a huge ministry within the church to help it become a safe, healing place for victims of abuse.
How Our Stories Intersected
Boz and I met online through his work with GRACE. (Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment). We met in person this February through a fund raising event for GRACE, then this spring I had the privilege of speaking to the law school where he works as a professor.
Through all this, we’ve become good friends. What I love about Boz is his brazen honesty and his desire to protect people from sexual predators. He is willing to put himself on the front lines for the sake of them. It’s inspiring. It’s humbling.
Boz’s story encourages us that you don’t have to have a tragic story to help those in tragedies. God uses all of us, no matter what our story is, to be rescuers in this dying world. That’s profound. And I’m grateful for Boz’s example.
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As I was listening this morning, I was especially struck by Boz describing how so many in the church tend to side with the perpetrator rather than the victim. I remembered back after my dad was arrested for raping two 12-year-old boys (when I was 19) and facing trial. (He pled guilty to avoid an ugly trial and was sentenced to 7 years, which I think was the mandatory minimum in AR at that time.) He needed to get a couple of character witnesses to write letters to the judge on his behalf to try to get a lighter sentence. The whole time I was utterly conflicted. I read his statement on what happened, and he was certainly not innocent. I can look back now and see that he was a predator. My mom stood beside him steadfastly as if he were not guilty, but in later years even she could see he was unrepentant and dangerous. Anyway, I remember in particular one man from our church who supported my dad, and even went so far as to call those boys “just trash.” Mom told me to remember him, and I did, though not perhaps for her intent. All I see now is an attempt to deny those boys justice. And that is still a huge conflict for me since my dad was the perpetrator. On the one hand, it was my dad. but on the other, there is so much guilt (which I know isn’t mine to carry) that I was unable to protect those boys. It breaks my heart that so many of us still side with perp over victim. Admittedly, it took a lot of years to finally be able to admit to myself and others that my dad was a pedophile. I think a lot of that stems from my own experience of abuse from him which was verbal, emotional, spiritual, and physical. Sorry for the long rambling comment. Ha! I really just wanted to say how thankful I am for you and Boz, and so many others who are shining a light onto the darkness of sexual abuse, and especially for the abuse occuring and being covered up within the church.
What a story! I’m so sorry you’ve had to walk through that. And I’m deeply grieved at just how prevalent it is that folks side with the predator. It makes no sense to me.