Pensacola Christian College and Sexual Abuse Victims

Pensacola Christian College and Sexual Abuse Victims February 20, 2014

by Samantha Field cross posted from her blog Defeating The Dragons

I’ve never named the college I attended for undergrad– not here, not anywhere else online. I have never brought it up here on my blog because I didn’t want it to become about the specific place I went to college. The problems that exist there exist at most other fundamentalist colleges, and I didn’t want anyone pigeonholing me. I was also  trying to avoid the harassment I personally know comes with critiquing this college in public.

It’s been sort of obvious anyway– despite my best intentions– that I went to Pensacola Christian College. I even managed to graduate, and I was one of the nauseating people that managed to accrue less than 15 demerits a semester (although I’d completely given up by my senior year and graduated with a whopping 170 my final semester).

The reason why I’ve decided to bring this up now is that I’m going to write an article about PCC, but I need your help.

If you travel in the same sort of online circles that I do, you’ve probably at least heard about what’s been happening at Bob Jones University. I’ve mentioned how BJU fired GRACE recently, and I’ve been aware of the problems at BJU for over a year now. However, yesterday, The New Republic published an article that detailed how the same exact things have been happening at Patrick Henry College.

As I’ve been reading all of these articles, my heart has been heavy because, as a graduate of Pensacola Christian College, I know that what’s been happening at Bob Jones and Patrick Henry have also been happening at Pensacola Christian. I personally experienced a small taste of it– when I tried to explain what my rapist had done to me the staff counselor interrupted me in the middle of a sentence to ask what I had done that I needed to repent of. I also know women who have been expelled because they reported being sexually assaulted.

I am currently outlining an article that I’m hoping will be published in a major online news outlet– like the Times or the Post, who published articles on BJU. In order to do that, however, I have to have more than just my own solitary story.

I need your stories, too.

If you were ever a student at Pensacola Christian College, a sexual abuse or rape victim, and had an encounter with Student Life, floorleaders, residence managers, or the counseling staff concerning your abuse, could you please contact me? I promise that I will keep  you anonymous if you would prefer not to be named, and I will only include as many details as you feel comfortable sharing. I will do my honest-to-God best to make sure I tell your story how you would want it to be shared, and that I will treat you with grace, dignity, and respect.

You can e-mail me at forgedimagination@gmail.com

I know how much emotional strength and resilience it take to tell a story like this one, so please don’t feel any pressure. If you contact me and then later change your mind, I will respect that, as well.

Thank you.

Comments open below

Read everything by Samantha!

Samantha grew up in the homeschool, patriarchy, quiverfull, and fundamentalist movements, and experienced first-hand the terror and manipulation of spiritual abuse. She is now married to an amazing, gentle man who doesn’t really get what happened to her but loves her anyway. With him by her side and the strength of God’s promises, she is slowly healing.

Samantha blogs at Defeating The Dragons and is a member of The Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce

 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Joy

    I hope your article will be posted here when you write it.

  • Catherine

    Thank you for being strong enough to speak out.

  • KarenOfRocks

    This leaves me with a squicky feeling. I was never introduced to fundamentalism/evangelicalism until I was an adult — I was raised a liberal California Catholic — but I spent three years off and on in Pensacola in the mid ’80s as part of a flight simulator installation crew. And it seemed like EVERYBODY but we Californians were fundies/evangelicals. Even when the team visited a bar to celebrate a major installation milestone, the bartender sent us off with “Y’all have a blessed night now.”

    Religion was EVERYWHERE. As far as I could tell, we were the only people in the entire city to work on Sunday. (There were no days off working on site.) Beer was not sold until after 1 pm., which I didn’t care about but enraged my recently-transplanted-from-the-UK colleagues. I would get really frustrated with some piece of equipment and let loose a curse that could embarrass a sailor, and a site technician (one of the folks who actually lived there) would take me aside and point out that I was taking God’s name in vain.

    I think I would have lasted about 3 days at Pensacola Christian College — and that would be with working hard at it.

  • Northwest Florida is an … interesting place. It is “deep South,” and thanks to the presence of people like Peter Ruckman and the Pensacola Bible Institute, Pensacola was a weird place.

    It’s better now. Has one of the biggest Pride parades in Florida. 🙂

  • No, it is not better. These people run everything. Just because people tolerate an annual pride weekend at the Beach doesn’t mean they are good now, it means they like money.