You’re wrong. Let’s talk about why.
by Stephanie Krehbiel
Because there is an abusive sexual predator in the White House, and when it comes to the skills we need to resist and survive the social tyrannies of his regime, the abuse survivors in your congregation are probably some of the most knowledgeable people in the room.
Because his election emboldened people who hurt other people sexually. It showed them that they can get away with it. Your silence gives them the same message.
Because you’re telling victims and survivors that you don’t care enough to stop it, and we’re still reeling from having that message delivered to us on a national scale. Your disinterest furthers that cruelty against us.
Because his election reinforced the power of the myth that scapegoats men of color for sexual violence while giving white predators a pass, and most of your white churches have consciously or unconsciously done the same.
Because we know that the burden of sexualized violence falls most heavily on the people who are marginalized for their ethnicity, their racial identity, their religion, their gender, their queerness, their disabilities, their poverty, their immigration status, and/or their previous histories of surviving abuse. Because the United States just got even more precarious for marginalized people, and abusers exploit precarity.
Because sexualized violence and forced gender conformity have been primary weapons for every fascist regime in the history of the modern world. Because fascism is what we face if we allow the unchecked use of those weapons.
Because if you don’t support the services that are out there for survivors of sexualized violence right now, more of those services will disappear, and the people for whom those services are the difference between life and death will start to die.
Because there is no sanctuary for undocumented people in a church that allows its sheltered sexual predators to rape and abuse them, knowing undocumented victims have practically no legal recourse.
Because you can’t be against war and not care about sexualized violence. If you think you can, you don’t understand war, and you will not be trusted by people who do.
Because when your peacemakers, mediators, facilitators, and social justice professionals go out into the world and spread ignorance about sexualized violence, they traumatize victims of violence in the name of peace.
Because there’s probably at least one person being sexually abused in your congregation right now, and it’s even more probable that there’s more than one. Your denial is a threat to their survival.