Into Account provides advocacy and the most up-to-date resources to survivors seeking accountability.
We specialize in strategies for holding institutions, perpetrators, and enablers accountable for violence, harm, and cover-ups.
Our Approach to Faith
If you read through posts on the Into Account blog and survivor narratives on Our Stories Untold, you’ll notice that some of our writers speak directly about their faith and about God, and some don’t. That range is an honest representation of our staff, board, and clientele: some of us are religious, some of us aren’t, and some of us don’t see ourselves reflected in available labels pertaining to faith or lack thereof.
What’s constant, for us, is a commitment to understanding the role that religion plays in the lives of survivors, and supporting survivors who have experienced abuse in the context of a faith tradition. We founded Into Account in 2016 in response to the sexual, spiritual, and emotional abuse that we were seeing and experiencing in Christian churches and faith-based organizations. Whether or not the survivors of that abuse were still active in churches, they were dealing with repercussions that had a religious dimension. Religion had been weaponized against them, and understanding how that happened was a vital part of their healing.
For some survivors of religious abuse, reclaiming faith is subversive, healing, and wonderful. For others, leaving faith communities entirely is life-changing liberation. Regardless of where you stand in relation to faith, the thing you probably need the least is more judgment from other people. We’ll always do our best to meet you where you are.
We affirm beliefs and practices that build us up, bring us hope, and make us more compassionate humans. We speak out against beliefs and practices that perpetuate abuse and hurt survivors. You can read more here about the principles that shape our advocacy and activism.
We believe that no institution, family, or community is more important than our right to autonomy over our own bodies.
We believe that sexualized violence can happen to people of all genders.
We believe that sexualized violence can be perpetrated by people of all genders.
We believe that homophobia, transphobia, and queerphobia are forms of sexualized violence.
We believe that the struggle against sexualized violence is inseparable from the justice movements against patriarchy, white supremacy, Christian supremacy, economic inequity, and all systems of oppression and exploitation that order our society.
We believe that institutions should prioritize transparency over liability fears.
We believe that confidentiality can be respected without perpetuating a culture of secrecy.
We believe that the past matters.
We believe that better policies are just the beginning.
We believe that institutions must be accountable to the people they have hurt.
We believe that survivors have the right to make their own choices and retain control over all actions taken on their behalf.
We believe that adult survivors deserve to be treated like adults.
We believe that advocates are here to offer support, information, and expectation-free guidance, not to solve survivors’ problems or take over survivors’ lives.
We believe that while religion doesn’t have to fuel sexualized violence, it often does.
We believe that obsession with sexual purity and abstinence perpetuates abuse and rape culture.
We believe that religious communities have a responsibility to cultivate theologies and practices that resist the perpetuation of sexualized violence and respect survivors.
We believe that people who are hurt by religious organizations deserve restitution from those organizations, regardless of whether or not the people who were harmed are still religious.
We believe that spiritual abuse is real.
We believe that all children deserve protection.
We believe that sexualized violence in prison is real sexualized violence.
We believe that movements of resistance to sexualized violence and movements of resistance to mass incarceration must be accountable to one another.
We believe that the criminal justice system is inherently violent, racist, ableist, and heterosexist.
We believe that the criminal justice system is structured in ways that perpetuate sexualized violence and are retraumatizing for survivors.
We believe that, sometimes, because better options have yet to be offered, it is in survivors’ best interests to use the criminal justice system to achieve protection and restitution.
We believe that, other times, it is in survivors’ best interests not to engage the criminal justice system at all.
We believe that justice does not mean the same thing for every survivor, nor does it need to.
We believe that if you need to use the criminal justice system, you should.
We believe that if the justice system gives you no reasons to trust or use it, you should not trust or use it.
We believe that every victim talking to law enforcement deserves an advocate by their side.
We believe that sexual threats to children should be reported to civil authorities.
We believe real accountability is possible.
We believe a world without sexualized violence is possible and worth fighting for.