G.R.A.C.E. (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) was hired by Bob Jones University to investigate abuse and cover up on its campus. This survey has been criticized by both fundamentalist Christians and even people like myself who, although we support the final goal of holding institutions accountable for covering up abuse, can’t help but notice some wiggle room for abusive organizations to further hide their crimes.
I decided to take the survey so I could determine, for myself, the integrity of this survey. You can do the same thing by clicking the link at the bottom of this article.
The first set of questions wants you to understand the totality of the investigation and page 2 asks about your relation to BJU. Yes, I’m a former student although the last time I stepped on campus as a student was 1980. After that, I didn’t step foot at BJU until 1992 or 93, give or take. The second page wants to know if you have contact with those who have been students, worked or are still employed by BJU. I answered ‘yes’.
Question 3 starts getting into the nitty gritty. Were you abused? Know anyone who was abused? And, can you guess what the next alternative answer is?
- I have first hand information relating to the teachings and/or practices by Bob Jones University or Bob Jones Academy about sexual abuse.
Duh! Anyone who checked into YouTube or Chuckles Travels already has that info. Nevertheless, just like our Republican congressmen suggesting that a woman cannot get pregnant if she is raped, I image question #3 might produce some real zingers when asked in fundamentalist circles.
Questions 4,5, and 6 wants to know about BJU’s attitude toward sexual abuse. Are students and faculty at BJU truly concerned? Or do they blame and disparage victims? Are they indifferent? What do you base this on? Personal experience? A friend or family member’s personal experience? Or, unknown sources or hearsay? There is a box for ‘other’ although I’m not sure what can be placed in that box after personal experience or hearsay.
Did I personally witness a student or faculty member say something inappropriate? Hah! Practically every day!
Now. . .GRACE wants to know exactly what that remark was! It will not let you proceed to the next page until you do. Okay, naked guy in shower acting like monkey and saying, “This is how we do it at BJU!” I just put ‘shower talk’.
Would I consider speaking with GRACE about it? Not really since I just blogged about it.
Question 9 and 10 separates the wheat from the tares! They want your contact info in case of follow-up. The next questions will most likely be about the abuse you might have experienced.
This is where I dropped out of the survey because I was not abused at BJU and, thanks to blogs, everybody is an insider when it comes to the teachings of BJU. Of course, I was not allowed to proceed and read the upcoming questions since I’m not giving them my address and contact info. That should be corrected in the spirit of transparency.
Only a few might make it passed this point. I would encourage everyone who makes it passed Question 10 to get in touch with an advocate you trust and share your answers with them. That way, if anything gets repressed in a report, we will have that evidence.
GRACE has a track record and, at the moment, do not appear to be evading questions or showing favoritism. Nevertheless, I think it’s healthy to keep a skeptical look at the situation involving BJU and GRACE. Everything rises or falls based on their upcoming report about BJU.
GRACE has about two or three victories under their belt, but ultimately they are still green behind the ears. BJU is older and practically has a masters degree in cover-ups and deceit.
NOTE: If anyone has taken this survey, please let me know if there are other questions besides the 10 mentioned in this blog. GRACE’s front page of the survey says it asks for your contact info at the end. As you can tell from this blog, written as I was taking the survey, I found most of the questions prior to 10 to be softball. In spite of what it says on page one, I felt there HAD to be more questions. Right?
There is criticism in the survivor community that BJU has not adequately notified the students about this survey. If this is the totality of the questions, I think that’s the least of survivor worries. If proud BJU students flood this survey, with this particular set of questions, I think BJU will pass with flying colors.
GRACE Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GRACE-survey
Fundamentalists reaction to survey: http://sharperiron.org/forum/thread-issues-we-have-with-grace-investigating-bju