A share of the blame

Dec 4, 2017 by

The church must take some responsibility for men who violate women. For centuries we have misinterpreted Gen. 3:16-18, which lists four curses: weeds, sorrow in childbirth, man ruling over woman, and a woman...

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Toxic masculinity

Nov 20, 2017 by

Public shaming of sexual predators is pushing toxic masculinity out of the shadows. A surge of reports of men’s abusive behavior has raised awareness that sexual harassment is appallingly common — and not...

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Virginia Conference terminates pastor’s credentials

Nov 6, 2017 by

Virginia Mennonite Conference has terminated the credentials of a pastor who Mennonite Church USA concluded acted in ways to protect a sexual abuse perpetrator, to the detriment of caring for a victim. VMC...

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Unoriginal sin

Oct 16, 2017 by

As far as sins go, a rich older dude using his power and influence to sexually prey upon young women is about as unoriginal as they come. As long as men and power imbalances and women have been in existence...

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Virginia Conference team begins investigation work

Jul 31, 2017 by and

Virginia Mennonite Conference has appointed a four-person investigation team to review whether staff of Lindale Mennonite Church near Harrisonburg violated boundaries after learning about inappropriate...

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Program restores sex offenders

Jun 19, 2017 by and

The Canadian government will provide nearly $7.5 million over five years to a Mennonite-supported program that helps convicted sex offenders reintegrate into the community. Circles of Support and...

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Opinion: You can prevent abuse

Apr 10, 2017 by and

For many of us, church feels good and safe. We were loved there as children and respected there as adults. In fact, we often describe our churches as “families” or caring communities where all are...

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Report cites pastoral protection in Virginia abuse case

Jan 19, 2017 by

An external review of responses to reports of sexual abuse in a Virginia congregation has led Mennonite Church USA staff to conclude the lead pastor acted in ways that protected the alleged perpetrator, to the...

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EMU releases report on misconduct response

Dec 5, 2016 by

Eastern Mennonite University announced on Nov. 28 that an external investigation of its response to allegations of sexual misconduct by a former vice president of enrollment found no evidence that...

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Biased attack

Nov 21, 2016 by

As I read “Rape Culture Exposed” (Editorial, Oct. 24), I was sure I was going to read about Bill Clinton’s escapades, which included a long-term affair and many other proven sexual assaults, all with...

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Longhurst: We are sorry

Nov 21, 2016 by

In October, when Donald Trump’s comments about women were reverberating in my mind, I posted an apology to my female friends on Facebook. In it, I expressed my sadness and outrage for how so many had been...

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Kraybill: A politician behaving badly

Nov 21, 2016 by

Stories of politicians and clergy using positions of power for sexual abuse are painfully familiar, a reminder that no leader is above the need for boundaries and safeguards. I ponder this as I look down on...

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Abuse is a faith issue

Oct 24, 2016 by

Donald Trump and others may view his boasting about lewd and vile actions against women as just locker-room banter. However, he is talking about sexual assault. Trump’s statements, and those who dismiss his...

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Rape culture exposed

Oct 24, 2016 by

What good could come from a sexual predator running for president of the United States? Just this: Donald Trump’s obscene bragging about sexually assaulting women has raised awareness of a problem often met...

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Opinion: Stronger accountability makes the church safer

Sep 26, 2016 by

A Mennonite conference took action this summer to make the church a safer space by enhancing the accountability of its credentialed leaders. Atlantic Coast Conference of Mennonite Church USA, which includes 33...

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‘But I’ve seen him do so much good’

Sep 21, 2016 by

Please note: This reflection references an incident of sexual abuse. “But I’ve seen him do so much good.” It was heartbreaking when I came across this line in an account about a woman who had...

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Firm to investigate abuse allegation responses for Mennonite Church USA

Sep 19, 2016 by

Mennonite Church USA has contracted with a Delaware firm to investigate how church institutions responded to abuse allegations against a former Eastern Mennonite University administrator. EMU had already begun...

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Mennonite Church USA sexual abuse panel withdraws from investigation

Aug 10, 2016 by and

Mennonite Church USA’s Panel on Sexual Abuse Prevention has terminated its participation in the process to select an independent organization to look into institutional responses to allegations of abuse by...

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MC USA board supports abuse panel, accepts resignation

Jun 10, 2016 by and

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Mennonite Church USA Executive Board affirmed recommendations from a sexual abuse prevention panel and accepted the resignation of board member Isaac Villegas during meetings June...

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Coming to terms with millstones

Jun 6, 2016 by

I read the 150-page report from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office about the abuse cases of the Altoona-Johnstown (Pa.) Catholic Diocese in the midst of writing a doctoral dissertation on...

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MCC statement on sexualized violence

Jun 3, 2016 by and

As stories of harm within our faith communities increase, Mennonite Central Committee is committed to speaking out against sexualized violence. Sexualized violence is physical or psychological violence carried...

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Healing ministry in ‘battle zone’ of abuse

May 9, 2016 by

MILLERSBURG, Ohio — Physical and sexual abuse in the Amish-Mennonite community weighs heavily on Larry and Kendra Kaufman, pastoral couple at Grace Mennonite Church. Just this year in their community, the...

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Panel calls sexual abuse a ‘cancer’ in the church

Apr 11, 2016 by

Calling sexualized violence a “cancer within the church that we need to expose,” the Mennonite Church USA Panel on Sexual Abuse Prevention released a statement March 30 urging congregations to “bring to...

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What about sexual violence by adolescents?

Apr 5, 2016 by and

Dove’s Nest has heard from churches that are struggling with situations of abuse in which an adolescent is the offender. These situations are terribly painful and complicated, but not terribly uncommon. An...

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Solicitation charge dismissed against former EMU VP

Mar 29, 2016 by and

A judge dismissed a charge of solicitation of prostitution against former Eastern Mennonite University vice president of enrollment Luke A. Hartman on March 29, roughly a week after a Harrisonburg, Va.,...

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