Topic

Sexual Assault

320 petitions

Update posted 2 hours ago

Petition to The Board of VOM USA, Jim Dau

Investigate Why Voice of the Martyrs Funded the Abuse of Nigerian Orphans

In January 2016, while on a mission trip to Nigeria, we were told by some people there of great wickedness that was being perpetrated in Voice of the Martyrs work in Nigeria. Voice of the Martyrs is a ministry that purports to help persecuted Christians. In Nigeria, there were many victims of Muslim persecution, and it was one of their highest profile countries for fundraising. There were several projects in Nigeria, including the Stephen's Center - a home for children effected by persecution, Basic Response - which arranged for care of attack victims, and a prosthetic clinic - to provide limbs for those who had lost them.  We have returned twice after that initial trip to investigate, and are convinced that instead of helping the people of Nigeria, Voice of the Martyrs has been harming people in tragic and shameful ways. For the full story, please watch the video we've posted online, Persecuting the Persecuted. The wickedness we have uncovered includes the following: Isaac Newton, the director of the Voice of the Martyrs in Nigeria, has been accused by many credible witnesses of habitually sexually assaulting girls in the Stephen's Center Isaac continued this abuse by threatening the victims and their families with expulsion from the school or the removal of Voice of the Martyrs monetary assistance Isaac has retaliated against anyone who confronted him or tried to end his wickedness Isaac had stolen much of the funds that was provided by Voice of the Martyrs The children in the Stephen's Center have been mistreated and not provided with the food and supplies that they need Financial corruption has been rampant through Voice of the Martyrs in Nigeria Many victims have not received the money that was specifically raised to help them Through our conversations in Nigeria and more than a year spent urging Voice of the Martyrs to act, we discovered wrongdoing closer to home. It seems that Voice of the Martyrs had reason to know what was going on, and their actions have covered up the evil that was done instead of fighting to end it. There are Voice of the Martyrs ministries in many different countries that although separate, often collaborate. VOM USA is the largest by far and gave most of the funding, and had the most oversight over Nigeria. In our video, you can find a more complete story of our interactions with VOM USA. But to summarize: VOM USA investigated these allegations years before we heard of them. They said their efforts uncovered nothing, yet in just a few days we could assemble a story from many witnesses and while it should not be sufficient for a court, it should have been sufficient to start a real investigation. We know that the allegations of molestation were reported to VOM USA in 2015, yet they did not investigate, but insisted that the abuse had been done by an employee who had died. VOM USA promised to have multiple outside investigations done, but no investigators ever contacted us for any information and we never heard about it again. VOM USA supported Isaac in his efforts to fire two employees who were reporting his abuse, without caring to investigate those allegations of abuse. Even when they eventually defunded Isaac, VOM USA gave land and goods worth over $100,000 to him - someone who they had every reason to believe was abusing those who he claimed to be helping. In our conversations with VOM USA we have on many occasions been told false or contradictory information. VOM USA seems to have been working to delay and distract us to avoid dealing with the issue. VOM USA has repeatedly denied any responsibility for what went on by claiming that VOM in Nigeria was a completely separate organization that they just funded. Yet that obscures the reality that they were far more involved and intertwined, VOM USA having managerial authority over Nigerian employees, making hiring and firing decisions.  Voice of the Martyrs has repeatedly failed to investigate serious wrongdoing when given the opportunity. They have sided with the oppressors instead of the victims. They have repeatedly proven themselves untrustworthy.  We believe that Voice of the Martyrs needs to bring in independent, outside investigators from a well-respected third party to conduct a full investigation and publicly release their findings. Donors need to understand why VOM USA did not fight to end this evil when it was brought to their attention. We need to understand who was involved in allowing this to happen, and how we can have confidence that it will never happen again in VOM USA.    "To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke" - Isaiah 58:6b  "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light." - Ephesians 5:11-13 "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." - John 3:19-21  

Reformation Baptist Church
742 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Nicholas S. Zeppos, Jeffrey Balser

Vanderbilt: do right by BethAnn Mclaughlin

Vanderbilt University's retaliation against Professor BethAnn McLaughlin's courageous stance against sexual harassment is poised to cost her her job. During her tenure process at VU, Prof. McLaughlin became a witness in the sexual harassment complaint against a member of her department. VUMC halted her tenure process for 17 months, as described in a recent article in Science, when VUMC’s Executive Committee of the Executive Faculty approved her tenure. The Dean of the VU School of Medicine, Jeffrey Balser, then asked the Committee to reconsider. The Committee’s voting members included Prof McLaughlin’s new chairman in Pharmacology, Dr David Sweatt, who is now on leave after multiple charges of sexual misconduct came to light including drugging and raping a student. Dr. Sweatt and other members acceded to the Dean's request and voted to deny Prof. McLaughlin's tenure. Prof McLaughlin’s other appointment is in Neurology and her chairman in that department trained with Dr. Sweatt, creating a bewildering lack of internal support for Dr McLaughlin that has only come to light because brave women recently came forward to Vanderbilt’s Title IX office and MeTooSTEM. Prof. McLaughlin will lose her job on February 28th. The signers of this petition are outraged by the unjust treatment of Prof. McLaughlin by Dean Balser and VUMC. This treatment violates our shared values of fairness, accountability, and stewardship, values the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has described as critical to the Integrity of Research (see report). The tenure process is the means by which a professor's contributions to the academic community recognize the scholarship, teaching, and service to their peers. When administrators pressure faculty to reverse their decision on tenure, they bring politics and fear into a process that should be objective and independent. Even the appearance of administrative interference strikes a blow against academic freedom and the expectation of scholarly independence. Research in the biomedical sciences in the US is funded primarily by taxpayers via grants from the National Institutes of Health. Part of the peer-review process by which grant applications are evaluated includes scoring the environment in which the research would be done. The mistreatment of Prof. McLaughlin and perversion of her tenure process raises serious concerns about whether the VU School of Medicine provides an environment that supports the integrity of research and the career advancement of researchers. Although the community continues to debate whether sexual harassment should be designated research misconduct akin to falsification of data, sexual harassment and retaliation against those who report it or bear witness against harassers clearly degrades the research environment. The signers of this petition pledge to apply appropriate criteria in scoring the environment of applications from the VU School of Medicine. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2018 report on sexual harassment in academia recognizes that women rarely report sexual harassment due to well-founded fears of retaliation. The report recommends that institutions promote culture change to honor those who report sexual harassment. To  honor Prof. McLaughlin and other targets of the unfair and unjust environment established by the administration of the VU School of Medicine, the signers of this petition will decline invitations to VU School of Medicine as seminar speakers, site visitors, and conference attendees, and we will protect our trainees from this environment as well.  In conclusion, we request that the Chancellor of Vanderbilt University support the continuation of Prof. McLaughlin as faculty. We remind the Chancellor that the impact of his decision will be felt by the nearly two thirds of women in academic sciences who have recently experienced sexual harassment and by those who support them. We urge the Chancellor to celebrate the values of fairness, accountability, and stewardship by honoring one person who has embodied these values in her actions on behalf of the larger VU community.

Sharona Gordon
5,404 supporters
Started 2 days ago

Petition to Pope Francis

Times Up Pope Francis: Clergy Abuse Survivors and #MeToo Survivors #SpeakOut

Platinum Signers: Johnathon Schaech (Actor), Annabella Sciora (Actress), Dash Mihok (Actor), Rosanna Arquette (Actress), Annabella Sciorra (Actress), Joely Fisher (Actress), Jessica Barth (Actress) 3 Goals: ● End Child Sexual Abuse and Coverups ● Strengthen Child Protection Laws -- End Statute of Limitations for ALL Survivors (both criminal and civil laws) ● Sexual abuse damages all, boys and girls, men and women. End bashing homosexuals as a scapegoat for criminal predators and those criminal officials who cover for them. What You Need To Know Clergy abuse survivors and #MeToo survivors UNITE and #SpeakOut together because when one of us suffers we all suffer. In fighting for justice for one survivor we fight for justice for all! Last year the world watched women of the #MeToo movement #SpeakOut about abuse, and rightly so. Since then major news stories in 2018 disclosed revelations about child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and its cover-up by Church officials. These horrid truths should concern all of us.  We should all be outraged, especially those of us who have children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Dangerous priests have been hidden in plain sight. Catholic hierarchs have spent millions for lobbyists, fighting to keep survivors from the justice system by opposing needed reform.  They know giving survivors access would lay bare the institution's role in covering up these crimes. However, this action denies all abuse survivors legal rights, not just Catholic victims. The Church claims high moral authority when it opposes homosexual marriage, birth control and abortions. At the same time, it allows heinous crimes against children to continue unabated. The impact of the power and influence of the Church is felt throughout our society. Just like in the #MeToo movement, one person’s outcry was routinely dismissed and ignored by the Catholic Church. However, for the past 30 years abuse survivors around the world have begun to unite and #SpeakOut together. These united voices have become a powerful witness. People, including law enforcement officials, are listening. This week Pope Francis and Bishops from around the world are finishing up their summit on the Church’s ever-expanding abuse crisis. They have a lot to discuss. This past year the Pennsylvania grand jury report exposed over 300 “predator priests” in 6 of the 8 dioceses in that state and found more than a 1000 victims. Since the report was released, additional survivors have come forward, and more abusers have been exposed. As many as one in three American bishops have been accused of failing to respond appropriately to cases of sexual abuse. A preliminary report by the Attorney General of Illinois found that approximately 74% of allegations reported to the 6 dioceses in that state were either minimized, or never even investigated in the first place. Bishops in Illinois themselves admitted that they would not “substantiate” an abuse case if only one person had come forward, EVEN IF they believed that person. Survivors, Catholics, law enforcement and the public are uniting to tell Church officials that we will no longer tolerate the protection of the guilty at the expense of the innocent. We cannot let them blame their internal failure to deal with sexual abuse on the homosexual community. They need to look inward, to give more women positions of power as they abolish the ‘old boys club’ network. Until the Catholic Church cleans its own house, we must deny them influence on social issues. #SpeakOut If you were a witness to any clergy crimes or have information about them, follow the inspiring example of Siobhan O’Conner of the Diocese of Buffalo. Report what you know to civil authorities. Notify the media. #SpeakOut When we work together, we can realize the heart's desire of all survivors for the future: that no more children will suffer harm at the hands of a predator. Please, let’s #SpeakOut For those of you reading this who are victims of clergy sexual abuse, whenever or wherever it occurred, you are not alone. What happened to you was not your fault, and does not need to define you. Abuse occurs in isolation--healing happens in community. You don’t have to live in fear and shame. Join your brothers and sisters in the survivor community. #SpeakOut WE NEED YOUR HELP! Sign this Petition to show your support and call for Pope Francis to STOP marginalizing victims and survivors of abuse. Tweet using the hashtag #SpeakOut to DEMAND Pope Francis releases all allegations of abuse to the proper authorities.   Use Hashtag: #SpeakOut to Spread the Word on Social Media Sample Tweets You Can Use To Help You #SpeakOut: “Survivors of clergy abuse and secular institutional abuse are all in this together. We are stronger when we #SpeakOut together. I DEMAND Pope Francis releases ALL allegations of abuse to the proper authorities.” “Catholic hierarchs have spent millions for lobbyists, fighting to keep survivors from the justice system by opposing needed reform. This action denies ALL abuse survivors legal rights, not just Catholic victims. #SpeakOut” “My name is _______ and I DEMAND Pope Francis halts all efforts to obstruct the legal rights of victims of abuse. #SpeakOut”

Johnathon Schaech
319 supporters
Update posted 5 days ago

Petition to University of Michigan

University of Michigan: Don’t Further Traumatize Survivors of Sexual Assault

The University of Michigan has shown that it stands against survivors of sexual assault: In its new sexual misconduct policy, survivors will be forced to undergo live cross-examination by their assaulter. As a University of Michigan student, I feel betrayed by my institution and scared for my fellow students. This new policy forces survivors of sexual assault to sit through a cross-examination conducted by their alleged assaulter, despite the fact that the university is well within its legal rights to require an advisor or attorney to lead the cross-examination instead. Even Betsy DeVos’s proposed Title IX regulations forbid the victim and alleged perpetrator from directly cross-examining each other. In criminal and civil court, cross-examination is always conducted by lawyers, but the University of Michigan has decided that it’s above the law. Will you add your name to show the University of Michigan that cross-examination should always be conducted by an advisor instead of an alleged assaulter? The implications of this policy are almost unimaginable. I was raped, and being forced to see my rapist is my biggest fear. Having him question me. Having him use his words to stab me. Having him tell me it’s my fault that he hid in my apartment until I was all alone. My fault that he bullied me into downing a bottle of liquor to the point where I was in and out of consciousness. My fault that he carried me into the bedroom and hoisted my body onto a bunk bed. This is too much to ask of any victim of sexual assault. As the complainant in a non-Michigan Title IX case, I understand the emotionally taxing process victims goes through. I am forced to relive my experience over and over again as I sit through hours of questioning by lawyers and investigators. When I filed a police report, I never expected to be dragged through a process that would snowball into over seventy-six arduous weeks of legal work. This process is hard enough without a policy that further traumatizes survivors. In college alone, nearly thirty percent of women are sexually assaulted. Only four percent of survivors report the attack. There is no doubt that the University of Michigan's new sexual misconduct policy will further decrease the number of victims that step forward. Sign to tell the University of Michigan that cross-examination should be conducted by an advisor instead of an alleged assaulter. Unless they make a change to this cruel policy immediately, U of M will be known as an institution that silences survivors.

Jane Roe
64,443 supporters