#ChurchToo: Sexual abuse victims ‘fed up’ with silence

Social media advocacy empowers survivors, pedophile preacher’s son says.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

For far too long, victims have been silenced.

Finally, they have an outlet to spotlight their painful ordeals.

That’s how Jimmy Hinton characterizes the social media movements — first #MeToo and now #ChurchToo — where sexual abuse survivors are recounting their real-life nightmares.

“Quite simply, millions of abuse survivors are fed up with the church protecting abusers while shaming the victims,” said Hinton, minister for the Somerset Church of Christ in Pennsylvania, who reported his own father to police when he learned the longtime preacher was a child molester.

Hinton is a certification specialist with the advocacy organization GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment). He cites frequent private messages he receives “from survivors who were either not believed by their church leaders or, worse, were humiliated, shamed and blamed for the abuse.

“These survivors are desperate to know that not all church leaders protect abusers,” Hinton told The Christian Chronicle. “Because they know my story, I think they feel safe to share their stories. Many of them are left confused because of how the church responded to their abuse, and some have a distorted view of God. #ChurchToo has empowered survivors to stand up to the churches that keep attempting to silence them.”

Read the full story.

This story appears in the March 2018 edition of The Christian Chronicle.

 

Sidebar: Expanded Q&A with Jimmy Hinton on sexual abuse in churches

Editorial: Sexual abuse is evil. Period.

Related: A child molester’s son shines a light (reporting from Somerset, Pa.)