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 Post subject: Re: Bob Jones University
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:27 am 
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http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/n ... /20189015/

BJU investigation announcement to be made today
Lyn Riddle, lnriddle@greenvillenews.com 10:10 a.m. EST December 10, 2014

The founder of an organization looking into the way Bob Jones University officials handled reports of sexual abuse said this morning that an announcement on the final report would be issued today.

Boz Tchividjian, executive director of GRACE, used twitter to make the announcement.

Bob Jones officials were given the report two weeks ago to check for factual errors.

Carol Keirstead, BJU chief communications officer, said last week she could not comment on any aspects of the report until it is released.

GRACE began its investigation in January 2013 into complaints about the way disclosures of sexual abuse were handled by BJU officials by releasing an online survey. From there, investigators did interviews with respondents, both in person and by phone.

More than 100 people were interviewed.

GRACE was formed in 2004 and focuses on preventing sexual abuse in churches and other religious organizations and in helping them respond appropriately when allegations are made.

The lead investigator in the Bob Jones investigation was Charissa Sloan Dvorak, a lawyer who at one time was a prosecutor in the Harris County, Texas, District Attorney's office. She lives in Indiana and attended Baylor University for her undergraduate degree and law degree.

The report had been expected early in 2014 but the university canceled its contract with GRACE in January of that year. GRACE officials said they were surprised and dismayed by the termination.

"We grieve with those whose hopes will be crushed should this independent process remain incomplete. Please know that we heard your voice and it was not spoken in vain," the organization said in a statement.

Some alumni and others protested through social media and other ways.

GRACE and Bob Jones leaders met in Lynchburg and the contract was reinstated without change a month later.

If previous reports are a guide, the Bob Jones report will be thoroughly investigated and in cases where the organization finds fault, people will be named. The report will also recommend changes to the way sexual abuse reports are handled, if needed.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob Jones University
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:27 pm 
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GRACE GETS it! I mean they REALLY GET it!!

Here is the statement they released today.

http://netgrace.org/wp-content/uploads/ ... elease.pdf

Bob Jones University Investigation Announcement
Release of Final Report


The Final Report for the Investigatory Review of Sexual Abuse Disclosures and Institutional
Responses at Bob Jones University will be released at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, December
11, 2014. The 300 page report will be available for review and download on the GRACE
website.

The purpose of this independent investigation, at the invitation of Bob Jones University,
was to address the responses of the university to instances of sexual abuse disclosed or
otherwise known to the institution. As such, this comprehensive report contains painful
disclosures by sexual abuse victims and strong language when describing the impact of the
institutional responses to abuse disclosures. We caution readers who have their own
histories of abuse that reading this report may trigger painful memories and you may find
portions difficult to process. We urge you to take steps to care for yourself in protective
ways, seek support and only read the report in a place of safety and with the
encouragement of faithful companions.

The GRACE team continues to be amazed and humbled by this two-year journey. We have
encountered some of the most amazing individuals who walk the face of this earth and
consider each of them to be real life heroes. Thank you for allowing us into your lives.

As this historical process comes to an end, we continue to pray that the words of this report
will fuel hope and healing in the lives of many as well as bring about transformational
changes in the life of Bob Jones University. To that end, we look forward to having a front
row seat at watching God work.

The GRACE Team
December 10, 2014
www.netgrace.org


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 Post subject: Re: Bob Jones University
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:46 pm 
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A statement from BJU's President, Steve Pettit.

So far, so good??

http://www.bju.edu/news/2014-12-10-grac ... tement.php

Statement from BJU’s President on the GRACE Report


Tomorrow morning (Dec. 11, 2014), the GRACE organization (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), based in Lynchburg, Va., will release a report on BJU’s response to reports of sexual abuse and sexual assault for a period spanning almost four decades. The University commissioned the review because of our desire to examine our history in counseling victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault and to consider how our policies and practices could be improved. We wanted to make sure that we were not only in compliance with legal reporting requirements, but far more importantly, that we were providing the spiritual and emotional support needed to help victims overcome the trauma they had experienced.

GRACE interviewed approximately 40 victims, a number of whom were former BJU students who received counseling from BJU. Most had suffered child sexual abuse while some had experienced sexual assault before or while at BJU. Some stated to GRACE that Bob Jones University did not meet their needs when they came to us for counseling and advice. Some also stated that the counseling they received made them feel responsible for the crimes against them.

On behalf of Bob Jones University, I would like to sincerely and humbly apologize to those who felt they did not receive from us genuine love, compassion, understanding, and support after suffering sexual abuse or assault. We did not live up to their expectations. We failed to uphold and honor our own core values. We are deeply saddened to hear that we added to their pain and suffering.

To them I would say—we have carefully listened to your voice. We take your testimony in this report to our hearts. We intend to thoroughly review every aspect and concern outlined in the investigation and respond appropriately.

We are all awakening to the depth and breadth of this societal problem. Colleges and universities across the country are reassessing how they handle cases of sexual abuse and assault. We want to be part of that solution. To do that, we must first address our own failings, and the GRACE report helps in that effort by identifying specific areas of concerns. Some of those concerns include the following:

* The report stated that BJU officials were not adequately prepared or trained to counsel victims appropriately.
* University staff members were perceived by some to be insensitive to their suffering and sometimes rushed to resolve their negative feelings without adequate concern for their pain.
* Some victims reported that the counseling offered by the University was inadequate, insensitive and counter-productive.
* Some felt a number of staff members at the University tended to blame victims for the abuse or sexual assault they experienced and that this implied blame left them feeling more traumatized.
* The report found that counseling sometimes overlapped with disciplinary actions. Victims felt counseling should be separated from BJU’s discipline process and a clear procedure of confidentiality should be established.
These findings deserve careful review and analysis. I promise the victims who felt we failed them that the GRACE report is an extremely high priority that has our immediate and full attention. We are thoroughly analyzing the conclusions, the underlying evidence and the recommendations and we will provide a thorough and thoughtful update as we complete this process.

It is important to note that the GRACE report, as significant as it is, is only one element of the actions we have undertaken in the past three years to improve our approach to sexual abuse and assault. As the report itself explains, the University in recent years has revised its policies and procedures:

* To make every member of the faculty and staff a mandatory reporter which requires each to promptly notify law enforcement officials of child sexual abuse.
* To encourage adult victims of sexual assault to report their experience to the appropriate law enforcement officials.
* To make clear that the biblical lesson of forgiveness does not imply that the victim is in any way responsible for the sexual assault or abuse they experienced.
* To provide more extensive training and access to professional counselors with expertise in sexual abuse for University personnel who interact with victims coming to them for care and compassion.

In a final note, we are thankful for GRACE and Boz Tchividjian. They are devoted to the cause of preventing sexual abuse and their contributions are significant. All along, our hope has been that this report would give us greater clarity and direction in addressing these important challenges. As you can appreciate, we need to review this report in exhaustive detail. We need to understand better the process GRACE followed along with their recommendations. As we continue the review, we will share our thoughts and any questions we may have. That being said, we find the report a valuable tool in our sincere efforts to improve how we counsel as well as the support we provide to victims of sexual abuse and assault.

We are totally dedicated to this on-going effort and will immediately appoint a committee to review this report over the next 90 days.

We do not take the concerns of the victims who believe we failed them lightly. We know we must work to regain their trust through actions, not words, and for those actions to be truly meaningful, we must make a long-term commitment that creates genuine, sustainable change. It is our solemn pledge to do just that.

—Steve Pettit

Published December 10, 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Bob Jones University
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:07 pm 
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GRACE's report on BJU can now be read on this link.

Demostenes Dalai Mud Lama wrote:


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 Post subject: Re: Bob Jones University
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 4:40 pm 
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Reading it came to this statement which I think shows GRACE's understanding of the abused.
Quote:
In more concrete terms, abuse victims may be able to detect toxic victim blaming/perpetrator exonerating attitudes in highly diluted concentrations that non-abused individuals may lack the sensitivity to detect. A canary illustrates this concept well. When miners go to work down in the depths of their mine, they often bring a canary with them. The canary detects and begins choking on toxic fumes before the fumes reach sufficient concentration to be detected by the miners. Like the canary, victims of sexual abuse detect toxic messages of blame before others who have not experienced abuse detect these messages.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob Jones University
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:53 pm 
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The Canary of Conscience was well and truly strangled in my childhood environment, so that the miners could not only be kept in the dark as they went about "The Work" but they wouldn't raise any objections when they got a warning sign of the toxic fumes drifting through the mine. Instead they chanted "Hi ho, Hi ho, to do The Work" we go.

Still today some of them old Miners are still strangling the Canaries. :x


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 Post subject: Re: Bob Jones University
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 6:38 pm 
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Quote:
Still today some of them old Miners are still strangling the Canaries
Bemused

Yes and as I read the foot notes, I'm only on page 64 I see many still are not getting it as they give the correct responses just twisted a little. We need more Canaries. And more people willing to believe the mine is in danger.

What happens when you cross an Eagle with a Canary? :o


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 Post subject: Re: Bob Jones University
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:15 pm 
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Shary Hauber wrote:
Quote:

What happens when you cross an Eagle with a Canary? :o


You get a high flying yellow and purple striped bird, that speaks in several languages, with different dialects, sometimes in poetry, has a conscience and isn't afraid of flying through storm clouds.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob Jones University
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:30 am 
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And fights fire with fire…. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Bob Jones University
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:31 am 
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Let's keep watch.
This sounds positive.
Oh, I really hope so!


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