In a harrowing TV interview, Australian Joy Harris, 63, above, spoke for the first time this week about the horrific treatment she suffered for years at the hands of her abusive husband, an fanatical Baptist pastor who is currently serving a five year jail term for raping her.
Speaking in a 60 Minutes exclusive, the Cairns grandmother said she had been raped up to seven time a day by her husband, Pastor Larry Harris.
Joy Harris said that the most devastating aspect of her ordeal was being shunned by her own son – an Independent Baptist pastor like his father – because he blamed her for his dad’s actions.
I’m totally heartbroken. He hasn’t even let me see his children, because I have to repent first.
She said of her husband:
He thought the more times a day he could have it, the more of a man he was. He would get up to 6, 7 times a day and he didn’t care if it caused me pain.
Pastor Harris pleaded guilty to two counts of rape in Queensland in January. His wife, however, wants fresh charges to be brought against him in New South Wales, where most of the abuse allegedly occurred.
She said any sense of justice will be forever overshadowed because her son Kevin, above, who leads the Illawarra Community Baptist Church in Dapto, has turned his back on her for speaking out against the church.
[Kevin thinks] I’m just as guilty as a rapist, my rapist. I’m wrong; I’m displeasing God.
Disobedience to the Lord on both parts. I believe my father is guilty, but he has expressed his remorse and his repentance.
It’s a stance that put Kevin Harris at odds not only with his mother, but also his own brother Jason, who quit the church in 2006 due to its fanatical beliefs.
Detective Sergeant Brendan Young led the investigation into Pastor Larry Harris and said he was appalled by what he uncovered.
It was sexual assault, it was rapes, it was deprivation of liberty, look it was disgusting to be honest.
Joy Harris said her estranged son’s views are widespread throughout the Independent Baptist movement and she’s determined to lend her voice to those unable to speak out against them, and expose the sinister doctrine being openly preached in small suburban churches scattered around Australia.
The pastor and and his church were accused of exploiting a Bible verse to justify their abhorrent and systematic abuse of women. Ephesians 5:24 reads:
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn