written by Tammy Stauffer, Director
At She’s Somebody’s Daughter, one of the things we do that is an absolute privilege for us is visiting and offering support to those who work in the adult entertainment industry in Central PA. It was through an employee I met and now consider a friend that I learned about this story: 24 pastors arrested this year for sexually abusing children.
(Lest you think otherwise, only ONE of the perpetrators was Catholic. The rest? Your average Protestant pastor that nobody would have ever suspected.)
The list of acts carried out on these vulnerable victims is alarming:
- rape, sodomy, and incest of a nine year old
- forcing “morning after” pill after raping teens
- sexual abuse of mentally handicapped in custody
- producing and distributing child pornography
- installing hidden cameras in church bathrooms
- father/son pastors tag-teaming member of youth group
My friend, rightfully so, was disgusted by this report and posted this comment on her FB wall: “What's disturbing is these are people that are meant to be trusted by parents and children. They are supposed to be an example of the way to Christianity and to break that trust in the community is just sick. It’s manipulation.”
Did you know that up to 99% of women who work in the sex trade, based on numerous studies, were sexually molested or assaulted as children? Those doing the molesting range from fathers to uncles, neighbors to babysitters, pastors to strangers. And sadly, my friend is no exception to this statistic.
She hit on a very important point in her comment, one that resonated immediately with me: trust in the community. And that is exactly the kind of model at She’s Somebody’s Daughter that we have been implementing: a community that honors women and children, leads to no more sexual exploitation, and offers a support network to those who work in this industry. This network is comprised of vetted, trusted agencies, groups, churches, and organizations that are willing to partner and offer their services to those who need to step into this circle of compassion and protection, to ultimately find healing.
Jean Vanier, who authored Community And Growth writes: “One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.”
So while it is absolutely disturbing what these particular pastors perpetrated against these innocent lives, my friend and I agreed that we are thankful for pastors and other professionals we know who can be trusted.
We are also thankful to be journeying through this life together as friends, part of the same community. And that is rather marvelous!
Remember: you are not alone.
If you have been the victim of abuse or love someone who has, check out our No More Sexual Abuse page.
If you struggle with sex addiction or love someone who does, check out our Get Help section.