Kevin Swanson attempts to tie together child abuse statistics from the Gen 2 Survey, a University of Oregon campus sexual assault survey, and stay-at-home daughters.
On February 6th, Christian homeschool leader Kevin Swanson and Steve Vaughn did a radio broadcast entitled, “1/3 of College Women Sexually Abused.” Swanson fails to mention the name of the study referencing this statistic and states that he received an email from his father with a link. The Oregonian reported in September 2014 about a survey done by the University of Oregon in which 35% of the female respondents indicated they had at least one non-consensual sexual contact event. I can only assume that this is the survey to which Swanson is referring.
The title of the radio broadcast is a bit deceiving because it seems that Swanson’s primary purpose was to discuss the findings of the Gen 2 Survey. The discussion of college women being sexually abused occurred in the middle of the broadcast.
Swanson starts off this part of the broadcast by discussing the findings of child sexual abuse in his Gen 2 Survey. Based upon self-report, 6% were primarily homeschooled, 18% were primarily public schooled, and 16% were primarily Christian (private) schooled. The obvious conclusion of the study was that there is a greater chance of a student being sexually abused if he/she is in (or primarily educated by) public or private school.
Swanson continues by acknowledging that there is anecdotal evidence of child sexual abuse among homeschoolers because of recent stories being told. However, he warns that anecdotal evidence is not equal to statistical evidence, therefore, anecdotal evidence should not be a strong basis for change in public policy. Swanson’s hope is that the Gen 2 Survey will play an important role for family and parental rights in the future.
Moving on, Swanson then talks about the University of Oregon survey. At this point he states, “You wonder why anybody would want to send their daughters to a university like this. They’ve got a 1 in 3 chance of being sexually assaulted.” I fully understand the concern regarding the statistics from the University of Oregon survey. I have a daughter getting ready to go to college in the fall and I find myself feeling like it’s one more thing I have to worry about.
However, Swanson doesn’t end there, he says, “Homeschooling numbers are more attractive to parents who want to protect their daughters.” At this point I see where the conversation is heading. Swanson blames the college culture of sexual revolution, the grey line between consensual sex and rape (huh?), fornication, and students “having sex like rabbits” for the high number of sexual assaults. He compares sending daughters off to college to cohabitating prisons where there is no separation of men and women. In an environment such as this, surely bad things are going to happen. Right? He then suggests that a good way for daughters to attend college is by taking online classes from home. Vaughn chimes in and promotes College Plus, which is a program that is promoted and talked about by a lot of proponents of Patriarchy and the Stay-at-Home Daughter Movement, including Doug Phillips and Voddie Baucham. You can read a little bit more about Voddie Baucham’s daughter and College Plus in this article, Jasmine Baucham, CollegePlus, and Leaving Things Out.
Folks, Kevin Swanson is promoting the stay-at-home daughter movement. Is anyone surprised?
Getting back to the original question related to the correlation between homeschooling and sexual abuse as an adult, Swanson makes one of his generalized statements that makes me so fond of him. In relation to the University of Oregon study he says, “This kind of thing was not happening 20 years ago.” It just so happens, Mr. Swanson, that the Department of Justice issued a special report, “Rape and Sexual Assault Victimization Among College-Age Females, 1995-2013.” (psssttt…1995 was 20 years ago) This report found that “the rate of rape and sexual assault was 1.2 times higher for non-students (7.6 per 1,000) than for students (6.1 per 1,000).” The report also found that “most (51%) student rape and sexual assault victimizations occurred while the victim was pursuing leisure activities away from home, compared to non-students who were engaged in other activities at home (50%) when the victimization occurred.” It is interesting that non-students reported that half of the incidents happened at home. How does this look for the stay-at-home daughter movement?
So, Mr. Swanson, it does not seem that there is any correlation between your child sexual abuse statistics for those who were homeschooled and adult college women who are sexually abused. Apparently college-age women can be sexually assaulted whether they are in college or not and whether they are living at home or not. What is comparable, though, is that like most children who are sexually abused, most college-age women who are sexually assaulted know who their offender is.
While I applaud your effort in encouraging homeschoolers to protect their daughters, I’m not buying your push for stay-at-home daughters.
Related: Gen2 Survey Results
50 thoughts on “Is there a correlation between sexual abuse as an adult and homeschooling?”
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
Actual statistics for crime, including sexual assault on campus are available. Potential students and their parents should look at these statistics in making college choices.
The correlation, or lack of same between being sexually assaulted as an adult and homeschooling is not clear from this article. The point is lost on me, but I did not listen to the broadcast.
Using this study to scare concerned parents into not sending daughters to university is shabby at best. The results seem to be high when compared with UCR data, but sexual assault is an underreported crime. It is an attempt to manipulate a target group of parents by playing on the fact that they care enough about their children to want what is best for them. Parents, do not take this bait. Research the schools. Make an informed decision. Talk to your sons and daughters about how to be safe at university.
LikeLiked by 4 people
Sounds like Womb-Tomb Swanson’s broadcast was just a radio infomercial for a particular online college.
I’d really like to see the Patriarchal fringe of homeschooling fade away. They just make it look bad all the way around. What homeschooling family wants to be represented by these nuts?
A brief glance through Homeschooling’s Invisible Children will dispel any myths that the home environment is necessarily safer. An abusive person will manipulate ANY system to get what they want.
LikeLiked by 4 people
I think I mentioned before that both sides of the coin ‘feminism’ and ‘patriarchy’ have evidences of abuse. I’ve been called vile things for dressing modestly by choice and homebirth by feminist individuals. I also don’t like all that patriarchy offers if holiday and research isn’t done to ensure safety. The extreme’s are where either STD’s are produced (feminist sexual impurity) or ‘doormat’ womanhood. Scripture itself is really the safety net for women in and out of college age world. It is the security to help men and woman out of sexual impurity bondage.
http://www.chuckingcollege.com/Home.html. Impressively written without a formal college degree, and I met this lady too. I love her mother’s website to. Lots of educational ‘food’ for the soul because he was a formal principal herself.
12 rapes and other sexual assaults were reported to the University PD in 2013, according to the University of Oregon Police Dapratment.(Just google U of O Police Department, I cannot post a link).
While any sexual assault is one too many, the rate does not seem that high given the number of students, ca. 24000.
Keith – With the way the broadcast went, I attempted to show how KSwan tried to pull these things together. He started off by talking about the low rate of sex abuse in homeschooling homes, to the high rate of sexual assault on college campus, to the need for daughters to stay at home during college. Because of the high rate of sexual assault on college campuses, the low numbers in sexual abuse in homeschooling homes make homeschooling look appealing to parents.
The fact is, though, that there is absolutely no correlation between the rate of sexual abuse in homeschooling homes and sexual assault on college campuses. Why he tried to put the two together, I have no idea. Especially with the DoJ stats regarding sexual assault on college-age women whether they are at home or college.
LikeLiked by 1 person
BTDT – The entire broadcast was to promote their stats on the Gen 2 Survey. Somehow they crossed a very broad line by trying to pull together sexual assault stats from homeschooling and U of O. All for protecting our daughters. Who cares if it even makes sense?
Great article, Kathi! Thank you! Do we really expect different results from Dr. Brian Ray who has been a pillar in the Homeschool Movement for years? Hello, biased agenda, anyone?
If Gen2 had asked this study to be done by an independent researcher, it might be worth looking at the data/results, but knowing their agenda, seeing how they got their samplings, any conclusions they have made are highly suspect. (BTW, I’m still surviving my statistics class and I really appreciate what I’ve learned and how applicable it is to real life situations like this.)
Kathi: Thanks for the explanation. I had no desire to hear the broadcast.
As regards the Gen2 study, I noticed immediately that males are only 30% of the sample. This is a huge problem for the study.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Also, regarding the campus sexual assault rate at Oregon, a quick google search shows results of 10%, 19% and 33%. Without reading the articles, these must be results of various surveys. It is unclear to me whether any of them closely refelct the true rate. Again, I am not minimising the prevalence of this crime, but I think the most useful statistics would be from the UCR, Campus Police, etc.
A comment above said “both sides of the coin ‘feminism’ and ‘patriarchy’ have evidences of abuse.”
While both might be subject to abuse, one huge difference between the two is that there is no good form of patriarchy in the body of Christ.
LikeLiked by 1 person
When he asked why anyone would send a daughter to OSU because of the 35% statistic, did he mention how that figure compares to women the same age who don’t attend a public university?
Also, did he ever talk of the fact that the way to stop women being sexually assaulted is to get the sexual assaulters to stop? I bet not. And that right there is one example of patriarchy’s blind spot: the responsibility is on women to stay away from those who would harm them, rather than get the people doing the harm out of the women’s way entirely.
LikeLiked by 5 people
Well, if he does have a point, would his logic apply then to everything? Like fathers should stay at home to work so they won’t risk any of the bad things that could happen to them out in the world?
LikeLiked by 1 person
Women can and are raped anywhere and everywhere – at home, at colleges, at malls, in parking garages, in their own homes, are abducted from food store parking lots and raped elsewhere.
Some times, the bad guy will follow the woman home in his car behind her and when she gets to her drive way, he will mug her in the driveway of her own home.
Would he therefore suggest that women in America live under Muslim cultural rule, where they never, ever leave the home unless accompanied by a male relative?
Should women never, ever leave a house to go food shopping, or to a job, or to anywhere? That seems awfully limiting. (I know, he’s suggesting the next closest thing: women should just stay at home, but you see my point.)
My mother actually raised me pretty much like that. My mom was always paranoid that I would be kidnapped, raped, and/or murdered. Therefore, she always discouraged me from going anywhere, especially alone.
Thanks to her fear-based parenting, I became fearful and rarely left home or did anything.
(A few times, I blew her off and went shopping alone anyhow. But I mostly went along with her on this, and it handicapped me in life in other ways. It contributed to my fear of people, it made it hard for me to stand up to bullies at college, jobs, etc.)
Most Christian books I’ve seen that counter-act this fear based parenting tell parents you need to give your children over to God. Don’t suffocate or limit your kids due to fear of “what if.” You need to trust that God will watch over your kid.
I went of to college for about a year and a half. I lived away from home, in dorms. (I later graduated from another college.)
Is Swanson not aware that not all dorms are coed?
Some universities still have all-female dorms, no boys allowed. I stayed in two different dorms at one college they were both ladies only, no men allowed.
Sometime girls sneak their boyfriends into such places. In one ladies only dorm I stayed in, the girls left the security door propped open with a pizza box, so their boyfriends could get in later. I kicked the boxes out, so that the doors closed shut and locked – I was not going to compromise my safety so they could sneak their BFs in.
But anyway, some colleges have all women dorms, technically no men are allowed in them.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I’m surprised Mr. Swanson ever leaves the house. How can he when his little girl needs him there to protect her 24/7?
LikeLiked by 2 people
I just saw an article yesterday by a woman who says she was raped in college in the 1970s. She let a male acquaintance into her dorm room, and he raped her.
I think this may have been the article:
_The ‘Princeton Mom’ Controversy and Campus Rape Today_ (page is on the New Republic site)
From that page:
As I said above, some colleges have female only dorms.
The rest of that? What is he talking about?
For one, he seems to assume all students are having sex. This was true when I was in college in my 20s. There is an assumption that everyone is “doing it.” Not everyone is doing it.
I am sorry to be a broken record, but again, I’m over 40 and still a virgin. I was around young men in college in my 20s and had male attention – I had a dorm room. I was in a ladies only dorm.
My roomie left after the first few weeks, leaving me the room all alone, and I sometimes had a male friend visit there in the room (we were allowed male visitors until like 8 or 10 PM, I forget the dead line), and there was never any sex between us. We talked and watched kid cartoons on my small TV.
I was engaged in my 30s and spent time alone with my sweetie, and I made it plain there would be no sex.
It’s insulting to me when so many of these Swanson guys assume everyone is doing it, because some of us are not – we are actually living out biblical ethics and sticking to our convictions.
I am convinced that when Christians set the bar low, like Swanson is, by just expecting all singles to sleep around “like rabbits” as he put it, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. How about telling singles you know that not all of them are sleeping around?
There’s nothing wrong with taking online courses – a lot of working adults who are pressed for time do so – but I think a person can learn a lot more via social interaction and make more friends if they attend a college in person, at least when they are young.
LikeLiked by 1 person
That is an interesting comment, and it’s true.
I was discussing on another thread here about some books I’ve read the last few years. The teachings that Christian gender complementarians and patriarchy supporters pass off to women (and men) can also lead to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or other sexual immorality.
One aspect of this is that Christians (who are into patriarchy and gender comp) tell women that women lacking boundaries and being un-assertive is biblical womanhood. They teach that God wants women to be ever loving, sweet, gentle, subservient doormats, especially to men. So, women are not encouraged to have boundaries, to speak up and disagree, and to stand up for themselves.
Of course, secular culture also influences women to be passive and to be doormats.
In one secular book I was reading, the psychiatrist was explaining – in chapters on dating and sex – that women being passive, sweet, non-confrontational, etc, not only makes them attractive to abusive or controlling men, but once these women start dating (or marry) such men, the men call all the shots in the bed room (ie, sexually).
The doctor has a few case studies in this book to explain what she means. In one of the case studies, one of her women patients (who was a codependent – doormat – woman) dated a guy who forced his sexual preferences on to her. He would have prostitutes join them for three-somes and other kinky sex, etc.
The doctor told women reading this book you need to start being assertive in all areas of your life, because when you are meek, sweet, passive, and try so hard to please, and are un-assertive, not only will you attract jerks and abusers, but once they get you in the bedroom, they will not care about your sexual preferences.
It’s all about them (the man who is controlling or abusive), what pleases them, their preferences, and that may mean forcing you to do sexual acts you don’t want to do, and with third parties – and you are not into that, the man may refuse to wear a condom, and thus you will get STIs, etc.
If you look at teachings by guys like preacher Mark Driscoll, and these other complementarian preachers, they actually shame women into thinking that having sexual limits or boundaries is wrong, unfair to their spouse, and that it is un-biblical.
Driscoll, IIRC, comes right out and says to women in one book or pod cast that God demands them to perform certain sex acts on their spouse.
Driscoll and other gender complementarians and patriarchy supporters, either tell women they should not have sexual boundaries, or they shame or guilt trip women out of having boundaries. They pretty much teach it is God’s will and design for women to do anything sexual at all that their husband wants, how the husband wants it, and when he wants it.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Oh sorry, my link above it not to New Republic’s site, I think it’s on “The Atlantic.”
Daisy: Excellent point re: setting the bar too low. Even if some people are promiscuous, this does not mean everyone is. It can also be a self-fulfilling prophecy if it is pounded into a person’s head that this is commonplace. I also agree that there are advantages to learning in person as opposed to distance learning.
Tim: Regarding an equivalence between so-called patriarchy and “feminism”, I think what the commenter may have been referring to is domineering, verbally and physically abusive women. There are some out there, but I would be surprised if they use “feminism” as a cover. I put quotations around the term, because is seems to have a lot of definitions, not unlike fundamentalism.
As regards protecting a daughter 24/7, I think that we send a wrong message to girls and women if we try to do this. My wife read me a portion of an article about one of the gang rapists in India (from BBC, I think), and that mindset seemed to feed into one rapist’s justification for his acts. That being said, I will risk incurring ire by stating that it is the duty of men to protect women, if possible. Before my daughter went to Korea the first time I gave her the “talk”: avoid groups of males, Steer clear of intoxicated males. Go out in groups.
I am in agreement with this, but on the other hand, I’ve seen secular feminists who go too far in the opposite side, and that I cannot agree with.
When I was in college in the 1990s (I am a woman), I did do stuff like try not to be alone after dark on a city street.
In part, I was raised by my mother to be fearful (which was not good), but there is some wisdom in trying to avoid being a crime victim by taking certain steps like that.
Around Christmas, in some cities I’ve lived in, the local news will run safety tips from police departments.
The police will tell people, “Don’t leave the box to your new TV you got on Christmas on the curb in plain sight for the trash man to pick up, because that sends a message to burglars you just got a new TV.”
I’ve also seen police in those broadcasts tell the audience to check under their car and in the backseat when they come back to their car after shopping in the mall, because crooks sometimes hide in those spots to ambush you when you come back out.
To me, that is prudent advice But I don’t hear feminists screaming that police and news stations who air those Christmas shopping safety tips are blaming theft victims, rather than telling thieves to stop stealing.
I do think some “how to avoid being raped” advice that police or universities issue can (or does) victim blaming, so I am not fine with that, but at the same time, it does not mean that women should just think they can just go through life with their guard down all the time.
There are precautions women and men can take to lower their chances of being mugged, kidnapped, pick-pocketed, or whatever.
Tim – “Did he mention how that figure compares to women the same age who don’t attend a public university?”
Tim, we would be assuming that he has done some research into the matter. And, if had done his research, he would mention his findings. But I can’t imagine him mentioning anything that would go against his agenda.
Plus, I have yet to hear him admit that child sexual abuse could be perpetrated by a homeschooling parent. It’s always been by a priest, youth pastor, teacher, neighbor, etc. Therefore, it’s easy to paint a negative picture for a college-age daughter attending at university.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Daisy – One of the concerns that I have with how technology obsessed we have become is that people are not aware of their surroundings. I tell my kids all the time that they need to make sure they know what is going on around them and not have their nose in front of their phone wherever they are.
Oh, and you can be sure that when we go for my daughter’s campus tour that I will be asking about how they respond to claims of sexual assault.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Kathi: Apropos response to sexual assault, in response to the Hannah Graham case here in Virginia there has been a call for mandated reporting of sexual assault to the Commonwealth’s Attorney or Police Department. What do you think of this?
Not the Hannah Graham case, but rather the fraternity rape article in Rolling Stone.
A year or more ago, there were two or three news clips that went around the internet of people who were so busy looking at their cell phone that they walked into walls or fountains at malls.
There’s an entire collection of things like that on You Tube under the title of “Texting While Walking Accidents: Video – YouTube”
After some looking, I found this (on Daily Mail site):
_Revealed: The ‘mortified’ texting shopper who fell in mall fountain… and now she’s suing the security guards who laughed at her_
Keith – This is a good question to ponder. Especially since we’re dealing with adults and not children. Is it different for an institution of learning versus a work environment? There have been so many cases where sexual assaults have not been reported – either to protect the institution, the perpetrator or the victim. Considering that sexual assault is a crime, then yes, as a moral obligation to a student, I think it should be reported to the authorities. I also think that having mandated reporters would send a strong message to students, staff and faculty that sexual abuse is taken seriously.
Daisy – I saw a news report about a year ago of a man in San Francisco who waved a gun around on commuter train and no one noticed because they were all looking at their phones. He then shot and killed a young man who exited the train at a stop. Anytime I see something like this I tell my kids about it and ask them to make sure it doesn’t happen to them. I don’t even walk the dog with music on. I want to make sure I hear cars – especially since some of the new hybrids are so quiet.
Kathi, your post jogged my memory of other, similar stories.
I’ve also seen reports of things like a person is being beaten up or dying in public, and rather than call the cops to get help, or intervene personally, the by-standers will take their cell phones out to snap pictures of the crime or calamity!
That happened with some kids who were beating up another kid in a parking lot, and there was a story about 3 years ago or so of two women beating up another person in a subway area. People stopped to film these people with their phones but did not call the police nor do anything to stop the attackers.
I found this headline on Daily Mail: “Judge scorns bystanders for filming fatal beating of woman outside a nightclub instead of intervening in the fight that put two women behind bars for six years”
_Flight or Fight: Why Do People Film Fights on the MBTA Instead of Stopping Them?_ (from Boston Magazine)
That in turn reminds me:
On blogs such as this one, sometimes people ask why more people don’t speak up and intervene when child abuse or spiritual abuse is happening.
I read books many years ago about work place abuse after having been bullied by a boss that say, “when a person is being bullied on the job, sometimes people ask why doesn’t someone intervene to help the target, and why, in some cases, is the target blamed for being abused.”
It’s the same reason, those books explain – people feel if they step in to defend another person, they too will be the next victim.
Those books also explain that people like to feel if they follow the rules, they won’t be a victim, so they like to rationalize if someone is being victimized on a job, the play ground, or in a marriage (or where ever else), they must have done something wrong, they must have broken a rule, or done something to bring the abuse on themselves so they deserve whatever happened to them.
I think that might also play into why sometimes people blame rape victims for being raped: “if only you had not worn that type of skirt, or had not been walking alone at that time or night, etc, you would not have been raped.” You’ll sometimes see that type of reasoning.
I am all for people practicing safety (such as, don’t walk alone at night in a bad part of town alone, etc), but I don’t like it when if someone doesn’t follow that advice, and they do get mugged or raped, they get blamed for it. I don’t believe in blaming people for things like that.
We need to train women of all ages in self-defense and proactive ways of being prepared. My church offers a self defense class provided by highly skilled law enforcement officers. The class is incredible! Women who are vulnerable are targets. Women who are on the offense can learn how to avoid and prevent attacks.
Like I always say, walk softly and carry a tazer.
My other comments didn’t post for some reason. I didn’t call Swanson any bad names. I promise!
The strategy seems to be to use fear to promote something other than faith in Jesus. It goes something like this:
Your daughters are in danger of being raped, and God cannot be trusted to protect them.
We have a plan you can trust, and it certainly isn’t dependent on our Heavenly Father keeping our daughters from evil.
Step 1: Father’s exercise complete physical domination and control over your adult daughters. Do not let them go to college (remember, they might get raped). Do not allow them the freedom to live their own lives (remember, they might get raped). Do not let them have boyfriends (remember, they might get raped). Do not let them leave home (remember, they might get raped). Do not let them out of your sights (remember, they might get raped).
Step 2: Send your daughters (and all your money) to our online college where we can exercise complete dominion over their minds and souls. Let us call the shots, no need to worry about how we’re indoctrinating your daughters. You can trust us even if you can’t trust your daughters, or Jesus. You can rely upon us to make your daughters totally dependent upon a future husband, who will understand that your daughters’ primary function in life is to populate the earth with more and more automatons.
Male privilege forever and ever, amen!
LikeLiked by 2 people
I was born and raised in the southern Baptist wife beating convention. My grandfather, a southern Baptist preacher, my wife beating father his son. I grew up in christian homeschool, I was repeatedly raped for the first ten years of my life by a bible quoting, church going, southern Baptist man. He was married to a very submissive wife and they had four children.
My Sunday school teaching, bible reading father spent my teenage years trying to convince me that “rape is not that big of a deal.”
My Baptist christian father hated with a bloody passion female rape victims, he believe they should be ashamed, and keep their feminist mouths shut about it.
I grew up in the (every man was given a female slave by god and how dare that slave try to escape us) homeschool movement. These men do not hate rape, but they do hate raped women and raped little girls. We are told it is our fault, to keep our mouths shut about it, we should be ashamed, and that if we don’t tell any one Jesus will bless us.
My father talked and acted just like Doug Wilson and Mark Driscoll. My father told me when I was a little girl that he married my underage mother because she had large breast, and that he was her boss.
I consider this cult of men to be sexually sadistic, sexually abusive men who want women and little girls they can do anything to, and these women and little girls cant escape them.
If we go to collage we might receive news that we can escape them. Then these men would have to go about their relations with women like Ariel Castro and could end up in jail.
“They pretty much teach it is God’s will and design for women to do anything sexual at all that their husband wants, how the husband wants it, and when he wants it.”
And Christian daddies.
Christians daddies do not care that their daughters do not want to have sex.
That girl is to have sex against her will to bring pleasure and amusement not just to her husband, but her father too. These men make it sound like Christian fathers get great satisfaction arranging for their daughters to be sex slaves for other Christian men. That is the message I always got and still get from these Christian men. As a little girl I felt like god was my pimp, these Christian fathers look like pimps also.
There are some who subscribe to a modified universalism where those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life are released from judgment once the burning lake of sulfur has worked the purifying effect of which both fire and sulfur are symbolic. One must be careful, for we will be judged according to the measure by which we judge. However, Guest’s testimony makes it VERY difficult to hope that any form of universalism might be true.
Guest – Welcome to the blog. My heart breaks to hear your story. I hope that you find this to be a safe place.
It is stories like yours that I have heard Swanson make light of and say that the adult child is doing nothing but whining over not having a good childhood. Now he’s turning the table a bit, and at least stating that it exists because he can’t deny the stories that are out there. However, he still has yet to admit that Christian homeschooling families can and do abuse their kids.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Has anyone ever been shamed for wanting to protect the weak? I have extremely intense protect/revenge feelings– for others. The thing that brought it to mind is that an acquaintance of mine was raped last year (by a ” Christian friend” no less) and man, I wanted to KILL him! I’ve never met the guy, and she and I aren’t close, but I still experienced a strong desire to “avenge” her.
All my life, I have had these instincts, but I feel like I keep getting shamed about them. I’m sure it’s because women (especially young women who are not moms) are not supposed to be the protectors. Has anyone else ever experienced that?
Guest, I am so sorry. I can’t believe no one stood up for you… But then, there go my protective instincts again. 🙂
Hazel, just because you are a young woman not a mother yet does not negate your capacity to be fiercely protective. One of my daughters (married but no children) is extremely protective. She is also a fourth degree blackbelt as well as a veteran of the Marine Corps so lets just say she can soundly kick ass.
LikeLiked by 1 person
What can I say?
“Womb Tomb Swanson shoots off his mouth again”?
This is what you get when a high school dork type finds a way to become a Supreme Alpha Male by Divine Right; he’s going to start throwing his Supreme Alpha Male weight around HARD.
Guest, I’m very sorry for what you went through. I’ve read your story on previous threads.
I’ve had problems holding on to the Christian faith the last few years, for reasons not near as severe as yours. I wrote a little bit about my own story on this blog _here_
I don’t know if it will give you any hope at all or not, but there are some decent Christian men of the Baptist persuasion out there.
My father is a Christian, and he’s been going to Southern Baptist churches for many years. (He originally came from a Pentecostal family, but my mother got him to switch over to Baptist churches after they married).
I have had problems with my father – he can be very negative and critical, so my relationship with him has been rocky since my childhood, but he’s never sexually abused me.
My father despises men who beat or sexually abuse women or children. I think if he ever came across a situation like that personally, he would intervene and do something, even if it meant calling the police or giving money to the abused person so they could escape the abuser.
My father volunteers at his church, he gives money to charities, and he goes around town doing good works for free (like he went to a lady’s house who was disabled and poor and did free handyman repair jobs for her).
I think there are some good men out there who identify as Christian and/or Baptist, but there are unfortunately some who identify as such who are abusive and who defend it, under the guise of “gender complementarianism” (which is Bible sanctioned sexism, under their twisted interpretation).
Some of the men who post here at this blog identify as Christian and are either non-denominational, Baptist, Reformed, or Roman Catholic. I may not agree with all the theological beliefs of all those groups, but the men who belong to them who post here in support of victims are okay.
I don’t mean to diminish your perspective, though. I do understand. It’s something I’ve struggled with the last few years myself, people who say they are Christian but who do not act like it consistently, or who say or do hurtful things (though there again, I’ve not had anything done to me near as awful as what your family did to you).
I had thought about posting a link or two about this when I was on here the other day, but I didn’t know if it would matter, since Swanson is saying he’s aware of stories like this, but now, I don’t know. He sounds like maybe he is in denial about it.
I have seen news stories about sexual assault taking place in homeschooling families. Here is one of the stories:
_Six homeschooled Jackson brothers allegedly raped girl for years from the age of four as parents turned blind eye_ (this is on the News .com.au site)
That article also said that the boys were familiar with the Bible and knew what they were doing was wrong but did it anyhow.
BTW, thank you Kathi for helping Julie Anne with the blog and contributing stories. 🙂
Witch Hazel said,
This is interesting because that is sort of true of me.
From the time I was a kid, I despised bullies, and I still despise them.
My mother, though, who was a very traditional Christian lady who believed that girls and women should be shrinking, delicate flowers and never be assertive, raised me to think that having boundaries was wrong, so she brought me up to be meek and passive.
Anytime I was bullied (and I was bullied a lot as a kid because I was quiet, shy, and passive), I would come home and ask my mother what to do about it, to get the bullying to stop. (The teachers would never help me.)
If it had been up to me, I would have pounded my bully’s faces into the ground, but I would come home and ask mother for permission first.
My mother would basically give me the standard codependent response of showing more concern for the bullies and their feelings than she showed for me or my feelings.
I was told by my mother that I should feel sorry for the bullies and never, ever fight back, not physically and not verbally, either. I should just sit there in silence and let the bullies abuse me physically (or verbally).
That never sat right with me, not even as a kid, it seemed counter-intuitive, but I did as my mom told me, and so I allowed other people to abuse me.
However, mother never did prohibit me from defending other victims.
This is why even as far back as grade school and older, if and when I saw a bully picking on another person, I would get involved.
I would sometimes physically insert myself between the bully (who was sometimes much physically bigger than me) and his or her target. I would speak up and confront bullies who were verbally assaulting another kid in junior high and high school.
Every time I got involved, the bully backed down and left the target alone.
I don’t recall off-hand being shamed for me intervening (and I’m a lady), but the overall sense I get from Christian gender complementarian views now (and I was exposed to this as a kid also), is that women are supposed to be weak, passive, helpless victims, and just keep their fingers crossed the God will send them a brave, strong, knight on a white horse to come along and defend victims.
But in every case I can recall in my life, there was no brave knight on a fiery steed. It was up to me (a girl) to step in and defend a target.
At least one victim I defended (who was being harassed by boys AND girls at school) was a boy. I think the rest were girls.
I don’t think Christian gender complementarians believe that women and girls should be the “white knight in shining armor,” because it flies in the face of their idiotic ideas about gender roles and stereotypes, but sometimes when you are female, you have to be the knight in shining armor, because the males are not stepping forward to help another woman who is in trouble, or sometimes, there are no males around at all.
Gary W said,
That sounds like my upbringing. My parents were not home-schoolers though (I attended public schools).
My parents did allow me to attend college (for about a year and 1/2 I lived on campus, in dorms), but man oh man, my mother was a total worry wart.
She was constantly asking me and pleading with me not to go out alone, don’t do this, that, and the other because I might get raped, beaten, mugged, killed, kidnapped, I might get a paper cut, a stubbed toe, hurt feelings, and on and on. I was not supposed to live life, because if I live life, I might experience pain, failure, and heartbreak.
I could easily write 67 volumes on how that manner of parenting created problems for me then and a ton of them later in adulthood, but I will skip it.
But that was a frequent refrain in my life, from my mother….
Don’t go shopping alone, you might get raped / skinned knee / kidnapped. Don’t try out for marching band, you might get raped / skinned knee / kidnapped.
Don’t meet your friend Frank at the pizza restaurant, you may get raped / skinned knee / kidnapped.
Don’t drive alone to pick up your friend at his apartment, you get raped / skinned knee / kidnapped. And on and on like that my. entire. life.
I did not mean for everything in my previous post to be in bold. I must have forgotten the end slash in my “b” (bold) tag above.
I’m just going to toss out my two cents here, I don’t want to debate this with anyone, nor do I mean to offend anyone who holds the opposite view to mine (we can just agree to disagree), but as I said on the other blog several months ago, I’ve never totally understood Christians who are troubled by the concept of an eternal place of torment (ie, Hell) so they invent all these alternate theories to explain Hell away and say in the end, God forgives everyone, and everyone gets into Heaven.
When I read news stories about the vile things some people do – murder, raping children, etc, I for one am glad that there is a Hell where these people go in the afterlife (assuming there is one).
I have never shed tears for child rapists, animal abusers, serial killers, etc., or that they may go to Hell. My mind boggles by people who have bleeding hearts for these people and try to explain away their evil by saying things like “we’re all sinners,” or, “most of these killers and child rapists had terrible childhoods and were abused, so pity them.”
This also goes back in part to my upbringing. When I would come home in tears or angry over having been bullied, my mother would usually show more concern for the bully than for me, her own daughter.
She would tell me (despite never having met my bullies herself) that I should feel sorry for them because they probably came from a sad, horrible home where their dad beat them up, or their mother didn’t bake them home made cookies, or whatever.
I have two siblings who get angry at life, their bosses, their spouses, and they will take their anger and frustrations out on other people. They will phone me up and scream at me and run me down.
I never scream at them or call them names, I have always been polite to the both of them. I ask them why they are yelling at me, and they say it’s because they are having a bad week because their boss was a jerk, or their sweetie pie ticked them off, or whatever.
I had a teacher take me aside in junior high after I finally blew up in class and screamed at a boy bully to leave me alone, after a week or so of bullying. I had put up with the boy’s harassment for a week solid and had not said anything.
The teacher begged me not to get the bully in trouble with school authorities because the bully’s brother had committed suicide two years prior, and she didn’t want more stress in his life (i.e., me reporting him and getting him suspended or whatever).
What that teacher did not know is that at that age I had clinical depression and was suicidal because I was bullied all the time by that boy and by other kids. No, my welfare didn’t matter – only that boy bully’s feelings mattered.
This teacher said she knew that the boy had been picking on me for two weeks but she did nothing to stop him. Not once.
I’m sorry that boy’s sibling blew his head off two years prior, but why does his past trauma and hardship excuse him for being allowed to bully me?
But I see this constantly (especially in Christian culture):
people -women and girls especially- are asked to “suck it up” and roll over and let bullies and abusers pick on them, and don’t seek justice and do not retaliate in any shape or form, because goodness forbid you standing up for yourself and /or reporting the bully may sully his (or her) life, job, marriage, or reputation, or it may put the bully in a place of inconvenience.
I think people should be held accountable for their misdeeds in this life and in the next, so I’m not terribly disturbed by the idea of Hell.
I do not understand the Christians who write these books or go on Oprah’s show to argue that God is a kindly old grandpa in the sky who will ultimately let everyone in Heaven, including Nazis, child rapists, serial killers, etc.
The Gen2 survey would make for a good post/discussion.
Daisy – I’ve noticed a pattern among Christian homeschooling leaders of not acknowledging that child abuse happens within Christian homeschooling families. There is so much denial. It’s always some other bogeyman type person who preys on children. I really wonder if the teachings of those in the movement right now will last another generation or two.
Keith – I am hoping that R.L. Stollar at Homeschoolers Anonymous will do a write up when the study if fully published. He does a good job with dissecting numbers and information. I’ll whisper the idea in his ear!
Your story sounds a lot like what my paternal grandmother wants me to be like. She is a passive aggressive, bitter, twisted, Jesus-wants-me-for-a-sunbeam Brahnamite. (Look up Brother Brahnam, he’s a doozy.). That being said, I am still learning to rock the boat when appropriate.
I was never bullied much, since we were homeschooled, but I have been ‘accidentally’ passed by or overlooked by church people a lot. Especially by other kids. There is only one bully that I remember, way back in first grade. This girl, K, was selfish, spoiled, mean and needed to be the center of attention. Presumably she disliked me because I wasn’t interested in being in her group. We started homeschooling the year I was in second grade, so the problem never got fixed; it just went away.
When I was in 8th grade, Mom decided she needed a break from homeschooling, and put us back in the same school; a private one run by a very large church. The experience was horrific, but suffice it to say that I hit overwhelm immediately. So when K (who was still there, of course) started picking on me again, I lost it.
Or at least, that’s what it felt like to me. What really happened was that one particularly oppressive day, when we were doing algebra, (which, incidentally, I was not ready for yet; I have always been slow in math,) I, in despair, laid my head down on the table and moaned, “This is sooo stupid.” Whereupon she immediately sneered, “you can’t call something stupid just because you don’t like it!”
I just looked at K and said, “Why not? Whenever YOU don’t like something, you call it stupid!” And another girl backed me up! I was so excited, so proud of myself that day. And my mom was proud, too. We never told my dad– he would have verbally brow-beaten me for not “responding in love.”
That was the highlight of my hellish two weeks back at that school. I am convinced that God gave me that opportunity so I wouldn’t lose my sanity. And kittens. He gave us kittens right at the beginning of those same two weeks. 🙂
Branhamite…serpent seed. Nauseating.