Lynchburg, VA – This morning GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) published its final report of its two-year independent investigation of Bob Jones University’s responses to sexual abuse disclosures. This 300- page report is a culmination of an investigation that included the receipt and review of over 900 confidential surveys, 20 written statements, and hundreds of documents provided by Bob Jones University and participating witnesses. At the heart of this report is the information collected from interviews with 116 individuals, 50 of whom self-identified as victims of sexual abuse.
The investigation findings demonstrate that Bob Jones University responded poorly to many students who disclosed being sexually victimized. As a result of the school’s flawed responses, many of these students were deeply hurt and experienced further trauma. The report outlines these painful experiences, as well as identifies and analyzes certain systemic institutional behaviors that contributed to the pain suffered by abused victims. The report concludes with 26 recommendations that “will assist BJU in continuing the journey of repentance that demonstrates Godward sorrow, invites God to transform the institution, and brings healing to the hurting.”
“Though much in this report will understandably cause readers to grieve, GRACE is encouraged by the willingness of Bob Jones University to take the unprecedented step to voluntarily request this independent investigation and to make these difficult findings public,” explains Boz Tchividjian, Executive Director of GRACE. “Such institutional transparency is too rare and will hopefully set a positive precedent for Christendom and the watching world.”
The report concludes by commending the many sexual abuse victims who participated in the investigation. Tchividjian states, “It is our hope that Bob Jones University will respond to these courageous voices with an enduring commitment to transform the school into a place where abuse victims are valued, respected, and protected.”
The Final Report for the Investigatory Review of Sexual Abuse Disclosures and Institutional Responses at Bob Jones University can be found at http://netgrace.org/wp-content/uploads/Final-Report.pdf
GRACE is a non-profit organization made up of highly trained and experienced multi-disciplinary professionals who seek to educate, train and equip faith communities to recognize, prevent, and respond to sexual abuse. For more information, please vist www.netgrace.org.