Excerpt from a letter by Jill Rowe
April 2, 1998
NTM Counselling Centre:
I must admit I was really surprised to receive your letter about the sexual abuse.
My oldest daughter, Krista, is now 19. She was in the little dorm in the late 1980’s. It does trouble me that such a great time span has passed before an investigation was started. I do know that the executive committee knew about this long before 1997.
We first found out about this when Krista was 13 or 14. We were on staff at Durham and were having a lot of difficulty in our family. Many factors came into play, one being the sexual abuse in the dorm. We found a note Krista wrote talking about how useless her life was and all she wanted to do was end it. It referred to the abuse from “Uncle Dave”. I can’t remember all that she wrote but needless to say it was upsetting.
We took this note to Chet Plimpton to get his advice. We were in counseling with him at that time and it seemed like the way to deal with it.
Chet told us of other reports of abuse in the dorm and how one family was taking Dave Brooks to court. He told us other families were not told about this happening because of the seriousness of it and it was felt better to keep it as quiet as possible. The only families who were notified were ones who Dave said he assaulted. Dave never named Krista as one of his “girls” so we were not told. Looking back I cannot understand why a child abuser would be trusted to tell all the truth and I think all the families with children in the dorm should have been notified. It was wrong on the part of the leadership to decide what they did.
My husband even called Dave to confront him and Dave assured him that he never touched Krista.
I don’t believe that Dave Brooks never assaulted her, I never did. All those involved at the time felt he was sincere about it and was remorseful for what he did. I never found out what happened with his court case, the man should be in jail for what he did to those girls. Yes, I am bitter towards him and for the way the mission handled the whole situation. There was more concern about what effect it would have on the mission than that of Krista. I know there was concern from Chet and those at Durham who knew, but the right actions were never taken. We were left to try and figure it out and we never had the expertise to handle it.
I also know that Senegal is not the only field where this kind of abuse has gone on. I only hope there is now better education of all those involved to detect this kind of thing.
Always in the back of my mind was the fact that my girls were going to the dorm and would live among people who loved the Lord and would nurture my children. All my married life I lived in fear of my husband and believed that the time my girls spent in the dorm would be a time of love and spiritual growth for them. For Krista it was the opposite, she was one of “Uncle Dave” favourites. I do hope she writes you, she has a lot of unresolved things to face. As far as I know my other daughter wasn’t involved. She remembers nothing about any of it.
I am assuming your letter was sent out to all parents and children who were there at that time. I hope you keep us involved and informed. There has been too much secrecy about this. If there is any further court action I would want to be a part if needed. I don’t know of anyone else to contact. I hope this is finally resolved and stopped from happening again