I do not believe that sexual offences are endemic among Brethren. But attitudes must change.
More pity is being shown to the abusers than to the victims and maybe this is endemic among us.
We can recall several occasions where victims have been punished by their church leaders because they complained about their abuse.
We heard of a case where several years ago a young girl in the Mansfield Assembly told the elders she had been abused by a young man in the Assembly. The young man denied it and the victim was accused of lying and was put out of fellowship. The young man was the son of an elder.
We know of similar cases.
If there is genuine repentance shown by the abuser, and true repentance can be seen, there can be forgiveness and restoration, but justice may still have to run its course.
There is a case involving the Riverside Gosepl Hall, Bandon, R o I, where justice has been carried out, and a prison sentence completed in N.I.,but complaints have been made regarding a lack of repentance being shown by the convicted man.
It is alleged that the man having served his sentence, now is permiited by the Assembly Overseer to hold childrens meetings in his own home.