This story is circulating on social media right now. There are a lot of moving parts, so I have put them all in one place. Links are below.
Circa 1980 – Debbie McNulty was eleven when a married man at church began grooming her. He quickly escalated from ice cream cones and hand-holding to sexual molestation and rape. Debbie told her pastor, asking for help and protection. She received none. The senior pastor did not go to the authorities, but he did blame Debbie. She was branded a slut and left the church as a teenager.
In 2017, during the #MeToo/#ChurchToo movement, Debbie began writing about her experiences at Calvary Gospel Church. Other victims came forward with similar stories, some publicly, some anonymously. Pedophiles never abuse just one child, especially not when they are getting away with it.
In 2019, Debbie wrote an open letter on her blog to the current leadership of her former church asking for acknowledgment, an apology, and reasonable policy changes. Soon after, the Facebook threats began.
This summer – Debbie and the other victims filed reports with their local police department and worked with the Wisconsin state legislature to present bills to close the clergy loophole and to get rid the statute of limitations for sexual abuse. They also told their story to a reporter at the local newspaper.
Yesterday – Now that the story is public, Calvary Gospel Church has circled the wagons to protect their own. The senior pastor received a standing ovation from the congregation in light of these recent attacks on his reputation.
He covered up the rape of little girls.
This is the very definition of rape culture.
Debbie McNulty’s original blog post
Debbie’s open letter to Calvary Gospel
The Cap Times newspaper report
The press conference about the bills