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Announcing New Private Spiritual Abuse Forum
Blogging is great for introducing a variety of topics, but sometimes it’s awkward to break the conversation to share a personal need or concern. Over the past year, there have been times when I have wished there was a private place to share and encourage one another in a deeper level – – – a place where there could be ongoing support from people going through similar experiences.
Over six weeks ago, our moderator, Fiat Pax made an online forum for SSB. I have been stewing about it for a while, not sure I wanted to go public with it, not sure I had the time because the blog already takes a lot of time. However, there have been a few unique incidences that have happened behind the scenes that have convinced me that this is the right time.
There are some people who will not post on a blog – even with a pseudonym – for fear that they are discovered by their former church/pastor. I understand that. Where many other bloggers may insist on first and last name in order to comment, I’ve aways allowed anonymous comments. The first person, Meaghan, who voluntarily posted with her real name on my blog was sued for defamation by my former pastor. Even though he lost the lawsuit, he has still continued to harass her publicly online, even trespassed at her home some 5 years after she left the church.
With Meaghan’s story in mind, some of you legitimately need a safer place to communicate than the SSB blog provides. Think about how awkward it might be for ex-wives of pedophiles to share their personal pain online. A forum can easily facilitate this need in a safe place. Where is there a safe place for those abused in church to simply come and share their struggles at any time and know that others will “get it” because they have gone through something similar? Maybe you want to join so that you can be an encouragement to some who are struggling. You are welcome, too.
Last Saturday, I invited readers of the SSB Facebook page a sneak preview of the forum and to work out some kinks, but we’re now ready to open it up on a bigger scale.
I took a screenshot of a portion of the forum so you could see what it looks like:
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It is a private forum and because we want it to be free from any stalkers or unsafe people, we will hand-approve each member. Only approved members can access the site. The forum content is not searchable on Google. If desired, people will be able to connect privately via private message which typically happens here on the blog only if I facilitate the connection behind the scenes. You can still use a pseudonym on the site.
The forum’s primary topic is similar to what we discuss here – abuse in church. There are also areas for light conversation or whatever is on your mind. We are able to add other bulletin boards for specific groups as you (we) see the need. FP and I are moderating the site.
In this forum, we have the ability to make certain bulletin boards within the forum “private.” For example, we could easily set up a Ladies-Only bulletin board – accessible only to women.
If you’d like to join this forum, please send an e-mail to: spiritualsbforum@ gmail dot com
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