Together We Heal is for any who suffer from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. We provide a safe forum for survivors of abuse to share, learn and heal. We work to expose sexual predators and their methods of getting into our lives.
On the May 2nd edition of Tom Ascol’s show “The Sword and The Trowel”, he chose to platform and promote the career of Pastor Mike Stone. Stone is running for President of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Mike Stone attempted to use the case of Trinity Baptist church in Ashburn Georgia as the prime example of why his approach, to the sexual abuse crisis in the Southern Baptist Convention, is the best.
At Together We Heal, we wanted to share with you something our Director, David Pittman, has been working on with a friend of his, pastor Mike Leake. It’s going to start with David and Mike having conversations about Abuse, Trauma and Justice. And our understanding is they will have others begin to participate.
We would encourage you to follow, subscribe and participate in the discussions. We believe the topics are important and timely.
If you are wondering what it means to be trauma-informed, especially in any form of ministry, this recorded session with Racheal Denhollander, Todd Benkert and myself can be a helpful introduction.
Being trauma-informed does NOT go against the bible or biblical teaching. Quite the opposite. Rachael explains a deeper understanding about the impact of trauma. And I speak to what trauma care in the church IS and IS NOT.
Please set aside some time to hear this message of support for those most vulnerable in our churches.
Watch the GRACE Live Conversation on Peer Support, the third principle of trauma-informed care.
With at least 20% of church congregations comprised of “trauma survivors,” why aren’t more faith communities helping to foster peer support groups for those who have experienced abuse/trauma?
Peer support and healthy relationships are essential for establishing safety and hope, building trust, strengthening collaborations, and utilizing the stories and testimonies of similar lived experiences to promote healing and recovery.
Join us for a great conversation about Peer Support for survivors of sexual abuse.
Where can you find resources?
What can your church do to get this right?
This was recorded live Monday, March 17th, 2022.
Thank you, GRACE, for hosting our Director, David Pittman and Elizabeth Sullivan of EmpowerSurvivors.
Join us for the first GRACE Live Conversation of 2022 and the first in their six-part series on Trauma-Informed Practices in Faith Communities.
Monday, Jan. 24th at 1 PM EST.
David Pittman (A GRACE Safeguarding Specialist and Director of Together We Heal) and Robert Peters (Senior Attorney at Zero Abuse Project) will be discussing Safety, the first key principle of trauma-informed care, from the perspective of abuse prevention and response within faith communities.
It’s a global day of giving that makes a real difference in people’s lives.
Even in times of economic uncertainty, we each have a deep reserve of generosity we can deploy in myriad ways to make a difference–your time, your kindness, your skills, your voice are all things you can give in addition to charitable donations.
Last year your generosity allowed Together We Heal to train more churches, teach more parents, and connect more survivors and families to the resources they needed.
Every tax-deductible donation will make a huge difference! Your gift will help us:
Assist in paying for trauma-informed care for survivors of sexual abuse.
Connect survivors to trauma-informed counselors/therapists/coaches.
Teach parents how to talk with their children about sexual abuse.
Train churches how to better protect children, properly respond to those harmed and better identify predatory behavior.
Support families of victims by guiding them through the process of reporting abuse.
Support survivors by being a resource to help them begin the healing process.
Educate the public on all aspects of sexual abuse at workshops and conferences.
When so much attention is given to what divides us, generosity brings people together across races, faiths, and political views.
Together We Heal is for those who have suffered the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. It exists to provide guidance to those in need, educate any who seek information on how to better protect children and to expose the methods of sexual predators.
Together We Heal works with Schools, Faith-based groups, Civic organizations or in a home full of concerned parents. Our desire is to prevent children from enduring the trauma of sexual abuse, and to help those who have already been harmed begin the process of healing. We are here to provide a safe forum for victims of abuse to share, learn and heal.
You can help us with this mission! We cannot do it without your faithful giving!
Whether you donate $5 or $500. Every dollar helps. Thank you to everyone who helps us help others.
“Third time’s the charm”, that’s what we’re told, right? On their third attempt to honor the wishes of Messengers, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee voted 44 to 31 to waive attorney-client privilege (albeit in a VERY limited manner) and agree to the contract with Guidepost to begin the investigation on sexual abuse.
But let’s be honest, this is not an investigation on all cases of sexual abuse within the SBC. It’s only about the last 20 years and only within the SBC EC. Is there already a documented case of libel regarding a case of sexual abuse? Yes. And will there be more cases of cover-ups/abuse/etc.? Most certainly. But now, only because of waving ACP is there the remotest of chances to get to the truth.
And it almost didn’t happen.
I watched the entire session. Well, the ones that weren’t behind closed doors. And it was clear there was a division within the ranks. Both sides offered passionate arguments that they BOTH genuinely believe. And that’s the hard part to take as a survivor of sexual abuse perpetrated by an SBC minister.
Phyllis Inghram all but said when she quoted Matthew 10:16, that we the victims of sexual abuse, had created a “hostile environment” and called US the wolves in sheep’s clothing. She said “they” needed to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
Were they all being harmless when Jen Lyell was slandered by the SBC EC and many of the SBC members?
Were they being harmless when they called Christa Brown evil?
Were they being harmless when they told me, “Sorry, nothing we can do for you or to stop a known sexual predator, but we’ll pray for you.”?
Yes, I know Ms. Inghram has resigned from the EC, but does it matter now? Her words cut like a knife to my soul, and I wasn’t the only one she impaled.
Even now, because of the SBC’s and Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s failures, a KNOWN, ADMITTED sexual predator is back at a church and trying to sell books about how to be better at worship. Going so far as to ask for media interviews to promote said books and asking if one would make a good movie.
This would be a ridiculously absurd joke if it wasn’t a cold, disgusting fact.
Joe Knott, attorney, and EC member said these things:
He went into great detail about law and order. Explained to us how God created the United States and its laws for our protection. Explained to us how law and order was from God. As if we needed his explanation on law on order.
Was he insinuating that a vote to waive ACP is a vote against God? Sure sounded like it.
He went on to say, “Laws are to restrain evil. Laws come from God.”
So what are we as survivors of sexual abuse? Are we the evil in need of restraint in this narrative of his? And what about the laws broken when we were molested and raped? Do those not count in his perspective?
He continued, “What we are about to do is create chaos.”
So now WE are the ones creating chaos? What about the chaos of 3 decades of my life because none cared to hear my story or stop a predator? And I am not the only one. Now there is an admission from my abuser and from several other victims who’ve come forward to say it happened to them also.
Said Knott, “There may not be a Convention to face”.
Again, a convention before a soul? One single soul? It’s ridiculous.
As Dr. Diane Langberg said at the SBC Caring Well event, “Jesus was not crucified for our systems.”
And over the last 3 weeks we’ve heard these things ad nauseum, “This will void our insurance” & “All advice we received is against waiving privilege”.
The attorneys hired by the SBC EC were only presenting one side. They were only giving one argument. There were no attorneys asked to give the alternative argument. Even though Rachael Denhollander was posting publicly in every place she could WHY they could and should waive privilege.
I also kept hearing the arguments against waiving privilege being about “loss”. Loss of insurance. Loss of fiduciary responsibility. Loss of money. Loss of a Convention.
You know what I didn’t hear? Not one single time?
The concern for what victims of sexual abuse have lost.
Victims of sexual abuse have lost their way, their identity, lost our minds. We’ve lost jobs, families and in far too many cases, our lives. Suicide, overdoses, premature deaths from trauma.
And what about the souls lost because of sexual abuse? Isn’t that what the SBC is supposed to care the most about? And yet predators and their enablers have made it so there’s no way many victims would ever again be receptive to God. What about THAT loss?
When they broke from their last private Executive session, in which I am sure every single attorney gave their hardest (possibly intimidating), attempt to persuade against waiving privilege, there is an immediate motion made to replace the Wellman motion.
At the last minute there was a clear intent, by using Roberts Rules of Order (parliamentary rules), to confuse and frustrate members in order to defeat the motion put forward by Jared Wellman.
But thankfully, pastor Rolland Slade took a moment, gathered good information and was able to get the EC back on track. The final vote being 44 to waive and 31 against.
It’s a win but not a big win. And certainly not anywhere near getting the SBC and all its churches and members to a place where sexual abuse is actively worked against, victims are properly helped with trauma-informed care and predators are named, exposed, and forever prohibited from serving in any SBC church or any conceivable entity with ties to the SBC.
A former SBC VP said just one day after the vote, that the efforts made by survivors to persuade EC members to waive ACP were “online attacks against good men and women…Carnal, ungodly & evil…the ends never justify the means.”
Really Mr. former 2nd VP? We are carnal, ungodly, and evil? This folks, is the battle we face in ridding the SBC from sexual predators and their enablers.