Saturday, September 17, 2016

How to Make Me Stop Blogging about ABWE

Abuse is never isolated. If someone abuses one person, they will likely abuse another. No pedophile has been found to have only one victim. There are always multiple victims. Some of those victims are too hurt to tell anyone about the abuse. Other victims wait until a good number of other victims have spoken out, then they find strength to do the same. Others are first to speak out and pave the way for more.

Because victimization is so personal, each victim has to find their own way and work in whatever time frame they can in their process of healing.

Because many of us know this, either through surviving victimization ourselves or by working with those who are healing, we know that each victim takes their own, very private, very personalized path to healing. But, we also know that many need a boost. They need an outlet for their voice. They need a safe place to voice their experience.

That's why my blogging about ABWE continues, and will continue. We, my husband and I, have received many messages from people who want to tell their stories but are still too afraid to be known by name.

Victimization can take different formats. While the direct victims of Donn Ketcham's pedophilia are dealing with healing from sexual abuse, there are other victims, too.

There's the ABWE missionary on another field who saw the way ABWE handled Donn Ketcham's abuse in 1989 and realized they were handling "problems" and "potential problems" on other fields in the same, wrong way and he spoke up. And ABWE administration told him to "Shut up" about these problems.....and he did.....and he carried the weight of this alone....and he had a heart attack.

Another hard-working missionary realized he could not stay with ABWE in good conscience not only because it was his friend and co-laborer who was hushed, but he also saw how wrong they were, so he actually left ABWE. His conscience could not allow him to continue. He could not work with a mission board that was covering up sin on "various mission fields." The problems were not isolated to Bangladesh. They were/are widespread. They continue. I wonder how long before victims from other mission fields will come forward.

The culture of abuse within ABWE has to be recognized before any real changes are going to take place. Some current ABWE missionaries are treating this like it needs to go away now. They are weary of the continuation of blogs like this one and comments on Facebook groups and other social media sites.

I'll tell you what. Just as soon as we stop getting private messages from various victims and just as soon as those victims are properly vindicated and just as soon as ABWE recognizes the culture of abuse they continue to operate in and fix it to our satisfaction, we will stop. Until then, I will blog in hopes of giving more and more victims the courage to come forward and break out of their silence.

To the victims: You are not alone. We are praying for you. We are here for you. We are aware of your pain. You are the reason I'm blogging and continuing to speak out against abuse. Your private messages are empowering.


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