I think the #MeToo hashtag campaign is healthy. If you’re not familiar with the movement, it arose in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, with Alyssa Milano asking women to share the hashtag #metoo if they’d been victims of sexual harassment or abuse.* I think it’s healthy for society in general to be made aware of this problem.
Beyond society in general, I think the church needs to increase efforts to make church a safe haven and a refuge for those who have been abused. To do such, I think that we need to:
- Condemn any and all abuse of power in the church. We have to communicate that not only is such abuse anti-Christian, but it is something that will be actively opposed in the church.
- Condemn any and all sexual abuse in the church. It will not be covered up. It will not be hushed for “the good of the church” nor “the reputation of the offender.” It will be denounced.
- Stop the ridicule of safety measures. I’m talking about things like the Billy Graham rule. Like it or not, allowing men and women to meet behind closed doors opens up a world of problems. I’ll admit that it shouldn’t be like that as long as you admit that it is like that. We live in a fallen world. Christians of all people should be able to accept that.
- Reject all questioning of a victim’s complicity in the abuse. I’m not saying that we encourage false accusations against church leaders. I am saying that we offer unconditional love and support to those who have been abused. We don’t ask whether they invited or encouraged the abuse. We offer compassion.
Those are some initial steps that I can think of. What else would you suggest?
Something I wasn’t aware of: Nick Gill pointed out this article that describes how the #metoo hashtag movement actually started 10 years ago.