The nation’s largest Protestant denomination has come under fire for decades of sexual abuse. Southern Baptist Convention has seen 220 ministers, deacons, volunteers, and Sunday school teachers convicted of sexually abusing 700 people over 20 years.
According to NBC News, the president of Southern Baptist Convention, J.D. Greear, has promised to address the issue of sexual abuse in the church. Greear wants to remove churches that have been found protecting abusers and launch an investigation into at least 10 churches accused of covering up abuse.
The church had previously dismissed the idea of using a database to track offenders, a suggestion that Greear is now open to pursuing.
Henry Snow was 17-years-old when he was first sexually abused by a prominent member of Southern Baptist Convention during a ride home from Sunday services. Snow never reported the abuse out of fear that no one would believe him.
Snow, now 67, was inspired to come forward after reading recent reports about abuse allegations at Southern Baptist Convention. Snow has expressed his support for Greear’s attempt to address abuse within the church.
Southern Baptist Convention serves 15 million members from over 47,000 churches.
It is the church’s responsibility to properly supervise all of its members, whether they be priests, clergy, pastors, mentors, teachers, administrators, or volunteer members. Negligent supervision by the church may give rise to legal claims against the individual church as well as the larger religious institution it falls under.
BishopAccountability, a non-profit that seeks to document abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, found that as of August 2018, the Catholic Church alone had paid nearly $4 billion over sexual abuse claims. The largest known payout amounted over $600 million dollars and was issued on behalf of 221 priests and church employees accused of abusing and victimizing more than 500 people.
According to BishopAccountability, more than 5,679 persons alleging sexual abuse by the Catholic clergy have received settlements.
If you were the victim of sexual or physical abuse by a member of a religious institution, you do not need to suffer in silence, nor do you need to face your abuser alone. At Thomas J. Henry, we have a team of attorneys, supporting staff, and legal experts ready to represent you. We can represent people of any faith and investigate abuse within any religious institution, including:
Contact our attorneys for a free case review and to discuss your legal options with an experienced child abuse lawyer.