We tend to search around the margins for evidence of institutional misogyny or hypocrisy, as if these ugly flaws alone give rise to abusers. Yet we see in the cases at Michigan State University and Ohio State University, as we saw at Penn State University, that what allows abusers to prey unchecked for years is a seemingly reflexive instinct among leaders to protect the institution instead of the vulnerable.
National Children’s Alliance hopes the Southern Baptist Convention’s study group guides it to the realization that the real damage to an institution’s mission and reputation is caused not by the truth uttered by victims but by believing the lies of abusers.
Teresa Huizar, Washington
The writer is executive director
of National Children’s Alliance.