This is Cathy Harris. The following is from my heart:
I plead on behalf of myself and for others who have no voice; Stephen Jones and the BJU Board members, be strong and Godly leaders. Please honor your commitment you PROMISED survivors.
Bob Jones *initiated* hiring G.R.A.C.E. Work together honestly with Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (G.R.A.C.E.) in good faith. Without games. Without spin. Without selfish motives by the school to spruce up its “Show Window”—In good faith, finish the job.
Please stop turning away from survivors of the crimes G.R.A.C.E. has been investigating for the last year.
- All of us are former students and graduates of Bob Jones Academy and/or Bob Jones University.
- Some of us are grown-children of BJU’s faculty and staff— their sons and daughters.
- Some are even former faculty/staff and BJU Press authors.
- Some of us could have been your future if we hadn’t been discarded as worthless wounded.
I beg you to not only see us as we currently are, but I also beg that you see the potential of all we were meant to be. Our potential we could have been if we had been handled correctly when we divulged our painful assaults or molestation’s.
We WERE One. Of. YOU!
We ARE BJU–or we were, unless you think of us as mere rubbish. But the truth is, we are not trash that needs to be discarded, without thought or consequence. We are human beings who have been terribly wounded by our abuse, and re-victimized at your University by dorm supervisors, dorm counselors, other faculty members who are “unlicensed counselors” and Administrators in the name of God while students at BJA/BJU.
Our cries may have been heard by the Lord, but the University was deaf.
All most of us ever wanted was a *sincere* “I’m sorry”, (Rest assured most survivors have become professionals at seeing through insincerity.) Not money. Certainly not media exposure. If BJU is unwilling to do these things, what other recourse do we have left?
It boils down to accepting to allow the G.R.A.C.E. Investigation to finish. Accept G.R.A.C.E.’s report graciously whether BJU agrees with every single one of G.R.A.C.E.’s findings or not.
Be willing to repent as you *promised survivors* for the wrong way these crimes were handled in the past.
Be willing to *really* listen and weep with those who weep as the GRACE Team has been doing all of this time.
Be willing to *truly* mend up the wounded and protect the innocent in the future.
We have *been* victims, Stephen Jones.
We’re *now* survivors.
This is not going away.
We won’t quit until BJU does right. Not only for us, but to insure those current or future BJU students who may divulge being a victim of molestation and who will face sexual assault/rape in the future will both be protected and their claims handled correctly by law enforcement. Not shoved under the carpet by Bob Jones University.
Once again, we are not going away.
We can no longer be silenced.