Authors highlight dangers lurking among complacent Christians
For immediate release: On the surface the church is always opposed to abuse, but dig deeper and you will find a long history of minimized crime, protected perpetrators and shunned victims. In Tear Down This Wall of Silence: Dealing with Sexual Abuse in Our Churches (Ambassador International; April 2015; $14.99, paperback) Dale Ingraham and Rebecca Davis attempt to shed light on a difficult and painful topic while pointing Christians in the direction of loving action.
“Tear Down This Wall of Silence shouts at such people to open their eyes, expose the wickedness that works to creep in among Christ’s people, and shine the light of God’s truth on it so brightly that it can no longer hide or even exist in our pews,” writes pastor and author Jeff Crippen.
When it comes to sexual sin, it appears the church has a blind spot. But the statistics of sexual abuse are shocking, and the statistics are no different in the Christian community:
- Nine out of ten child molesters molest children they already know, according to the Abel and Harlow Child Molestation Prevention Study of 2001.
- As many as one in three girls and one in six boys will be raped or molested by age 18.
- Studies show that 18-20% of young women will be sexually assaulted during college.
- Statistics show that only 3% of these cases of abuse ever reach a conviction.
Tear Down This Wall of Silence contains stories from many brave survivors, including Ingraham’s wife Faith, who was abused by her father, a Baptist pastor. These sections are italicized in gray to help other survivors avoid any unwanted triggers.
Boz Tchividjian, founder and executive director of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment), says “Dale helps us understand the complicated dynamics of sexual abuse within the Church… He also provides a comprehensive overview of the myriad of reasons why the Church often prefers darkness and secrecy to light and transparency. Perhaps the most powerful punch of this book is that it is written by one who has not simply studied the subject, but whose life has been so dramatically impacted by all he has seen and experienced.”
A common concern of well-meaning Christians is that admitting there is a problem will hurt efforts to lead people to Christ. Whether purposefully or unwittingly, these people are enabling abuse to continue. “It’s the sin that hurts the work of Christ and brings shame to the church— not exposing it,” writes Ingraham. “How can dealing with abuse and holding offenders accountable for their sins possibly hurt the name of Christ?”
About the Authors: Dale Ingraham, a pastor for over thirty years, is also the husband of Faith, a survivor of nine years of incest. Together they founded Speaking Truth in Love Ministries, awakening churches and other ministries to the realities of sexual abuse within our Christian communities and helping them understand how to deal with it.
Rebecca Davis is an author and editor with a passion to help the oppressed. She is on the advisory board of Speaking Truth in Love Ministries.
To connect with the authors please contact publicist Alison Storm at [email protected].
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