In May 2022, an explosive report was released detailing extensive sexual abuse and a systematic cover-up within the Southern Baptist Convention. The report included credible accusations against senior leaders within the Convention and 75 ministers within the state of Texas alone. The abuse and cover-up efforts span more than 25 years.
Due to the length of time the report covers and the extent of the accusations, it is likely that there are abuse survivors of all ages across the state of Texas. If you or a loved one have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a Southern Baptist Convention minister or affiliated person, please, contact Maloney & Campolo for help when you are ready. We understand that coming forward can be extremely difficult, but we are ready to hold abusers and the organizations that enable them accountable.
How does Abuse of this Nature Occur?
Sexual abuse claims almost always involve a large organization or corporate entity. In most cases, and the cases involving the Southern Baptist Convention, organizations go to great lengths to cover up wrongdoing, discourage victims from coming forward or pursuing claims, and fail to investigate credible accusations. They do this in an attempt to shield themselves from negative publicity and to avoid legal and financial liability. However, these actions create environments that allow predators to operate freely for years – and – in this case – decades. The report on the Southern Baptist Convention includes more than 700 names – most of which have been confirmed to be affiliated with the church.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of victims never report sexual abuse and the real number of abusers and victims is likely much higher. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a collective of over 47,000 churches and has over 14 million members of its congregation.
How Did the SBC Handle Accusations of Abuse?
The report details a pattern of not only dismissing claims of sexual abuse, but also actively intimidating victims who came forward. This came through actions such as threatening them, shunning them, and treating them as if they were lying. The report indicates that the goal of avoiding liability at all costs reached the highest levels of Convention leadership.
How Can An Attorney Help?
Sexual abuse cases are delicate, but difficult legal matters. Often, they are as much about preventing further abuse as they are about compensation. The institutions that protect abusers must be held accountable for their actions. By doing so, other churches, schools, and businesses will realize that it is not only morally reprehensible to cover up abuse, it significantly impacts them financially as well.
An attorney can help protect survivors of abuse, handle the case confidentially, gather the evidence necessary to build a strong case, and ensure that all deadlines are met. Additionally, an attorney can connect survivors with important resources to help deal with the trauma of the abuse.
Sexual abuse can significantly impact every aspect of victims’ lives. It can devastate their personal relationships, derail their education and career, and create serious emotional and psychological issues that require long-term treatment. A sexual abuse lawsuit can hold institutions and perpetrators accountable and recover the compensation to needed to overcome these impacts and allow survivors to move forward.
If you or a loved one have survived sexual abuse by a member, minister or volunteer at any church in the Southern Baptist Convention, contact an attorney at Maloney & Campolo as soon as you are ready. We offer a free and confidential consultation and never charge a fee for representing victims of sexual abuse in Texas.