She did not cry out while being raped … so is she guilty?
Shoesofiron wrote this as a comment on Jeff C’s first post about the BJU Conference. I’ve moved it over here into a post as it seems like an important topic worthy of being addressed on its own. I also moved the comments related to it over here. I think many of our readers will be interested the what happened to Shoesofiron’s daughter.
My daughter has a master’s degree in counseling from BJU. She had been sexually abused by her youth group pastor (BJU grad with master’s degree at a Greenville area BJU church) and believed that she was “totally fine” with it…..UNTIL she took a counseling class by the wife of the former DOS. (Pretty sure she’s not qualified to teach–oh wait, none of them are qualified to do anything they are doing) Anyway, this teacher shut the door, read the verses in Deuteronomy about not crying out in the situation of rape. She then shrugged her shoulders and said, “What do you do with that? It’s in the Bible. Those aren’t my words, they are God’s.” All of a sudden my daughter realized that she had not vocally “cried out,” (there was no one there anyway) at the time of the incidents. She then became distressed and started finding blame in herself. My daughter is under 30 and is still paying every single month for that useless degree. :*( Guess I’d better stop now. I know too much and I have a horrible headache thinking of all the unbelievable things that happened to me and my family and my friends over there at 1700 WHB all the while they making the victims believe they have the spiritual problems. Damn them. But your post is an encouragement to me this morning. Thank you and God bless, Survivor.
Jeff Crippen responded:
Shoes – Now there is a story that will require a blog post. Namely, the wicked distortion and application of the following Scripture:
Deuteronomy 22:22-26 “If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel. (23) “If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her, (24) then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. (25) “But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. (26) But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor,
So, she didn’t scream out for help while being raped by her “youth pastor” – having been grossly manipulated and deceived by him, so now she is guilty. This is very typical of the hermeneutic of the Pharisee.. Wooden, literal, naked letter that kills. No mercy. Yes, Shoes, may anyone who tells a victim such a thing in God’s name be judged by Him on that Day. And so they shall be.
I seriously wish there were laws against the teaching from people and churches who teach the things such as is being taught at BJU because of how it is so destructive to so many people! I don’t know how it could happen or even if it’s the best recourse, but hearing these stories certainly makes me want to see some kind of discipline put in place.
Here is my response to Shoesofiron:
Dear Shoes Of Iron, I am weeping with you and your daughter. What terrible pain; that teacher is ignorant of the feelings and responses of sexual abuse victims. That Deuteronomy passage has been difficult to understand and many survivors of rape have felt skewered by it.
The most important thing about reading that passage is this: it must not be read woodenly, or in isolation from all the other passages which talk about sex.
I have written a post called The Bible’s view on premarital sex – is the remedy always “get married”? As you can tell from the title, it is not only about rape, but it does cover that passage in Deuteronomy about the woman who did not cry out. And it explains how it is only ‘case law’ and must be interpreted not woodenly but by applying the principle therein to situations as appropriate .
The way that teacher applied it was the wrong way. Your daughter is not guilty for simply having ‘failed’ to cry out with a vocalised sound. As you said, there was no-one else there anyway, so her case is like the woman who was raped in the country (Deut. 22:25) where if she had cried out, no-one would have heard her anyway! So she is not guilty in any way shape or form. And even if the acts took place in a location where others would be within hearing distance, they would still be rape (or sexual assault if there was no actual penetration) if the rapist had so intimidated, coerced, manipulated, guilted and otherwise silenced the victim by psychological tactics: she might not ‘cry out’ due to fear, but that doesn’t mean she was complicit in the sexual act. She was raped. She was sexually assaulted.
One thing I find helpful when thinking about whether or not there was consent to a sexual act, is this: Consent is the Yes you say when you are free to say No. Your daughter was not free to say no; she had been so intimidated, coerced, scared, manipulated, etc, her freedom was denied. It was run roughshod over. She was raped. She is not to blame.
Blessings and hugs. There is also another post on this blog called Do you tell others about the sexual abuse? which may be of help for your daughter.
The bottom line is: she was not to blame; it was not her fault.