Dear readers who care about Mennonite colleges, what happens next is largely up to you.
Hilary's successful process with AMBS must not be co-opted into an institutional narrative that erases the trauma of other survivors, that asserts a false peace while silent suffering continues, and that elevates Hilary as a chosen survivor on the backs of people who do not fall within Dave's narrow-minded understanding of the body of Christ.
Labeling a victim as "powerless" and a survivor as someone who has more “power from within” is a way to pit victims and survivors against each other so that the church can control the narrative about sexual violence.
It's taken me seventeen years to identity this as an abusive encounter and I'm going to have to sit with that reality because it's all so fresh.
If we truly wish to help someone who has experienced sexual violence, then we need to come into their circle, not expect them to come into ours.
When we shift from understanding rape and sexual violence as scandal to what it actually is, violence, we also shift our attention from linear narratives to cyclical narratives of impact.