victim of church abuse

A recent report released by the Southern Baptist Convention reveals widespread sexual abuse. It reveals coverups of abuse committed by hundreds of ministers, pastors and employees within the organization. Within the report, over 700 names of individual abusers from cases that span over a 20 year period from 2000 to 2019.

Read the full independent report here:

The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee’s Response to Sexual Abuse Allegations and an Audit of the Procedures and Actions of the Executive Committee

Our investigation revealed that, for many years, a few senior EC leaders, along with outside counsel, largely controlled the EC’s response to these reports of abuse. They closely guarded information about abuse allegations and lawsuits, which were not shared with EC Trustees, and were singularly focused on avoiding liability for the SBC to the exclusion of other considerations. In service of this goal, survivors and others who reported abuse were ignored, disbelieved, or met with the constant refrain that the SBC could take no action due to its polity regarding church autonomy – even if it meant that convicted molesters continued in ministry with no notice or warning to their current church or congregation. 

The independent investigative report revealed that SBC leaders ignored calls to stop sexual predators for at least 20 years. According to the report, the calls for policy reform were silenced and disparaged. Out of a fear of potential lawsuits, the SBC Executive Committee failed to protect children and others from harm.

These wrongdoers and predators must be held accountable for the harm inflicted on children.

The psychological and potential physical consequences of sexual abuse are very serious. Studies show the enduring consequences of sexual abuse, when perpetrated by a religious leader, are compounded. Survivors of sexual assault or rape within a religious community face the very serious harm of trauma inflicted by a trusted, spiritual leader who often holds the highest authority in their church.

Can the Southern Baptist Convention be sued for its role in sexual assaults?

Yes. The individuals and organizations who participated in harmful acts can be held accountable for their wrongdoing.

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is the organization overseeing roughly 47,000 Baptist churches. It is the largest Protestant denomination in the United States.
The SBC includes oversight of the organization at different levels including:

  • Local Congregations
  • Local Associations
  • State Convention
  • National Convention

The report reveals that for 20 years the organization knew about sexual abuse on a widespread scale. Abuse was covered up across all levels of the organization. Wrongdoing often included moving an abuser from one church within the organization to another.

Who Can Bring A Lawsuit?

Survivors of sexual assault can file a claim against the SBC and others who were involved in their abuse. Those who experienced abuse related to the SBC should reach out to an experienced attorney to file a claim.

How Do You Sue the Southern Baptist Church?

In a sexual assault case related to the Southern Baptist Church, the first step is to reach out to an experienced attorney. The attorney and their staff will review facts related to the case to determine the next best course of action.

There may be multiple parties who share responsibility for wrongdoing. Each situation may bring up circumstances unique to the case. SBC cases will not be brought in court as a class action lawsuit. Rather, each claim is unique with individual players and different facts.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim for Sexual Abuse by the Southern Baptist Church?

In Texas, the clock does not not start until after a minor reaches 18. Each case may be unique. The best way to find out if there is still time to file a claim is to reach out to an experienced law firm who can evaluate the case.

What Damages Can be Recovered After Sexual Abuse?

Sexual assault victims can file claims for monetary damages for the pain, suffering, and emotional damages they suffered as a result of sexual assault. Oftentimes sexual assault claims result in a settlement before filing suit. These claims may be settled outside of court for undisclosed amounts. The identity of the victim is protected in court proceedings.

Why hire National Trial Law in a sexual assault claim against the Southern Baptist Convention?

Our attorneys are leaders among their peers in securing successful outcomes for clients facing catastrophic injury and complicated legal challenges. Our firm has extensive recent experience related to sexual assault involving organizations and assaults involving a minor.

In the past five years, our attorneys have handled sexual assault cases involving a massage therapist at a hotel/resort. And we have represented immigrant detainees who were sexually assaulted at the Hutto detention facility. All cases were settled for undisclosed amounts.

In the firm’s recent history, our attorneys have represented children who were sexually abused at a day care in Austin, TX. Additionally, our firm has won positive outcomes for women who were sexually assaulted by police in Balcones Heights. Our attorneys represented a woman who was sexually assaulted by her ob/gyn. All of these cases also resulted in settlements for undisclosed amounts.

How much does it cost to hire an attorney for a sex abuse case?

There are no out of pocket costs to hire an attorney for a sexual assault claim. Personal injury attorneys including all of the attorneys at National Trial Law take cases on a contingency fee basis. No fees are owed up front. And no money will ever be owed to the attorney unless they win a settlement or jury verdict on your behalf.

Victims of Southern Baptist Convention do not need to suffer alone. National Trial Law attorneys can serve as advocates in court. Contact us immediately for questions about abuse suffered from the Southern Baptist Convention. Our attorneys can hold Southern Baptist Church and other religious officials accountable representing victims in a a personal injury claim or lawsuit.