Have you or someone you know been sexually abused at Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)?
The sexual abuse lawyers at Carr & Carr Attorneys at Law understand the sensitive nature of sexual abuse cases, particularly when they involve children or the elderly. If you or someone you love was a victim of sexual abuse, we’re ready to listen to your story and help you understand your legal options.
Call 866-510-0580 to schedule your free, confidential consultation or tell us what happened online to get started now.
What do we know about the SBC Lawsuit?
On Sunday, May 22, 2022, Guidepost Solutions released a report exposing two decades of sexual misconduct and sex abuse within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
Guidepost was hired to investigate multiple allegations against SBC’s Executive Committee (EC) staff and member churches with regard to:
- Sexual abuse
- Mishandling sex abuse
- Mistreating sexual abuse victims
- Intimidating sexual abuse victims or advocates
- Resisting sexual abuse reform initiatives
According to the report, for many years, sex abuse survivors have been reaching out to the SBC EC in every conceivable manner—phone calls, postal mail, emails, personal appearances at SBC meetings, rallies, and contacting the media—and members of the committee responded with “resistance, stonewalling, and even outright hostility.”
The report further states, “Our investigation revealed that, for many years, a few senior EC leaders, along with outside counsel, largely controlled the EC’s response to these reports of abuse … and were singularly focused on avoiding liability for the SBC.”
According to the Guidepost report, the SBC had collected the names of 703 abusers. Of the alleged abusers, 409 were likely affiliated with the SBC. The EC aimed to avoid liability for these abuses by refusing to investigate reports of abuse. Nor did the EC take steps to prevent ministers accused of sexual abuse to hold positions of power in SBC churches.
The report further describes how the survivors of sexual abuse were characterized as opportunistic individuals looking for lawsuits. These victims were broken down and publicly vilified, while their accounts of abuse were trivialized and their abusers permitted to quietly leave their respective churches or in some cases, even continue in their positions of authority in their churches or the SBC.
The EC rejected a slew of reform proposals over the 20 years that Guidepost investigated. The firm reports that fear of incurring legal liability spurred the committee to reject many of these proposals.
What can be done legally?
SBC largely admits fault, as well as the damages to victims.
The SBC has admitted to knowing about specific incidences of sex abuse, has admitted to multiple incidences of failing to act on reported crimes, and failed to work to prevent further crimes within the member churches. Despite owning and operating the national press for the organization, the SBC failed to warn members of the harm for over 20 years.
Additional claims of negligence, slander, and other direct harms related to the SBC abusing its position of authority and power by elevating the positions of abusers, giving them more power, while simultaneously harassing and harming victims and survivors are also anticipated based on publicly available reports and findings that have been published to date.
How can Carr and Carr help?
The sexual abuse lawyers at Carr & Carr Attorneys at Law are dedicated to helping sexual abuse victims from Oklahoma and nationwide via offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Springdale, AR. If you or a loved one was a victim of sexual abuse and you’d like to learn if a lawsuit may be a good option for you, please call us at 877-392-4878 or contact us online to arrange your free consultation.