Southern Baptist Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

Many longstanding and far-reaching religious organizations and other entities have become shrouded in lawsuits alleging sexual abuse. In recent years, tens of thousands of former Boy Scouts have filed lawsuits against the Boy Scouts of America. While the youth organization claims to honor God and country, lawsuits accuse the Boy Scouts of allowing sexual abuse and misconduct within its ranks. Additionally, reports estimate that hundreds of thousands of individuals suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests for decades. Another pious institution also faces claims of engaging in and covering up sexual abuse among its members. Several individuals have filed lawsuits against the Southern Baptist Convention concerning sexual misconduct and coverups to hide the ongoing abuse. Are you a survivor of sexual abuse from your time with the Southern Baptist Church? Reach out today to speak with one of our trusted attorneys to understand how a Southern Baptist sexual abuse lawsuit can help you.

Our law firm is currently handling lawsuits on behalf of individuals who have suffered physical, psychological, and emotional injuries as a result of sexual abuse by the Southern Baptist Church. Lawsuits accuse the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) of ignoring complaints of sexual abuse and refusing to report credible allegations of abuse by its leadership.

What is the Southern Baptist Convention?

The Southern Baptist Convention is a denomination of the Christian church established in 1845. It is the largest Protestant group in the United States, with 5.3% of the adult population. At the core of their beliefs, Southern Baptists teach that the Bible contains no errors and the text should serve as the ultimate authority in one’s life. The church rejects infant baptism in favor of adult baptism as a full immersion and conversion experience. Similar to other evangelical groups, Southern Baptists are extremely devout, with daily prayer practices and the belief that acceptance of Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. Although some have pointed to the gradual decline of the religion recently, the Southern Baptist Convention still maintains thousands of churches nationwide. In 2018, 41 states combined had 47,456 Southern Baptist churches. Also, a report in 2020 confirmed roughly 14 million Southern Baptists.

SBC Independent Report Findings

In response to an increasing amount of outspoken allegations, the SBC’s Executive Committee hired Guidepost Solutions to conduct an investigative report. This independent firm engaged in a 7-month investigation into the sexual abuse claims of various survivors. The investigation produced a 288-page, in-depth report about the Southern Baptist’s dismissal of sexual abuse allegations for over 2 decades. Senior leaders and counsel dismissed claims against clergy members, with some survivors alleging they were met with intimidation tactics to silence them.

The SBC report is the first investigation of sexual abuse in a Protestant denomination. The report, which focuses on actions by the SBC’s Executive Committee, claims that survivors experienced trauma both during and after the sexual abuse because the church failed to respond to reports by victims. According to the report, high-ranking SBC leaders, including past presidents of the convention, regularly supported abusers in the church. The Executive Committee informed church members that it could not compile a database of sexual offenders because it did not comply with the denomination’s policy. Leaders nevertheless assembled a list of known offenders and kept the information confidential to avoid liability.

Following the report, the SBC released the official list of offenders in May 2022.

Southern Baptist Sexual Abuse Injuries

Children and adults who endured sexual abuse from Southern Baptist leaders have suffered a variety of psychological, physical, and emotional injuries. Unfortunately, sexual abuse can lead to lifelong physical and mental scars for survivors. Sexual abuse often takes a heavy toll on the body and psyche of individuals. This trauma can follow survivors for the rest of their lives. Victims of sexual abuse may experience:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Addiction
  • Chronic sleep disorders
  • Suicidal ideation/completion

What Do We Know About Southern Baptist Sexual Abuse Lawsuits?

Guidepost Solutions’ investigative report discovered that the SBC repeatedly dismissed claims of sexual abuse by clergy for more than two decades. Survivors of sexual abuse reported these incidents to SBC’s Executive Committee and were stonewalled by senior leaders and outside counsel. SBC took the position that the church was an autonomous body and no further action could be taken against the perpetrators. In addition, the SBC permitted the accused clergy and volunteers to continue interacting with church members. According to the report, the Executive Committee never took action to address or prevent the abuse of the Baptist ministers.

Can I Recover Compensation in a Southern Baptist Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?

If you or a loved one suffered sexual abuse in the SBC, you may recover compensation for any or all of the following:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future pain and suffering
  • Loss of wages
  • Other economic losses related to your injury.

Lawsuits argue that many people experienced sexual abuse from clergy members of the Southern Baptist Convention. Claimants allege these members exploited their high-ranking positions of power in the church to abuse countless children and adults. Furthermore, survivors argue that the SBC ignored and concealed sexual abuse allegations in order to avoid negative publicity and lawsuits. By refusing to rectify and hold clergy members accountable, lawsuits accuse the SBC of leaving sexual abuse and misconduct unchecked. At The Lake Law Firm, we understand that it may prove emotionally taxing to recollect or talk about sexual abuse. If you decide to pursue a potential Southern Baptist sexual abuse lawsuit, our team is on standby to assist you.

How Our Law Firm Can Help You

The Lake Law Firm was founded by Edward J. Lake, Esq., a personal injury lawyer for over 25 years. Our dedicated team of attorneys is committed to seeking justice on behalf of those who have suffered injury or death due to the negligence of others. Our experienced attorneys handle many different types of cases and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. The Lake Law Firm will advocate for you and your rights. Please contact us for a free confidential case evaluation at (888) 525-3529 or submit an inquiry on this page.