Not in My Church

By Barrington Brennen
The Nassau Guardian [Bahamas]
August 15, 2006

"Could this be happening in my church?" asked a concerned Christian mother, who suspected her pastor was molesting a few choir members. The unfortunate truth is that the commission of sexual improprieties by people in a position of trust is all too common today, and it is creating a giant wound in our communities. What can we do about it? How can we prevent this from happening? Persons in a position of trust and power are pastors/clergymen and other spiritual leaders, politicians, medical doctors, psychiatrists, lawyers, CEO's, police officers, military personnel, teachers, athletic coaches, nurses, counsellors, psychologists, social workers, massage therapists, parents, bus and taxi drivers, among others. For what ever reason, a few individuals from all of these professions and more, violate the trust of individuals by attempting to, or actually having sexual relationships with them. As a result, emotional wounds are oozing from shameful experiences, thus creating a world of confused, troubled, angry, and sick people.

PREVENTION & HEALING SEMINAR: To address the serious issue of sexual improprieties, you are invited to attend a "Sexual Abuse Prevention & Healing Seminar for People in Power" on Monday, August 28, 2006 (place and time to be announced.) During the seminar, a special movie will be shown entitled "Not In My Church." It is an award-winning, dramatic video of what one church faced because of the betrayal of trust by its minister. There will be a short presentation on sexual abuse and an opportunity for questions and answers. You will learn about the state of sexual abuse in The Bahamas and the relevant laws that protect us.

SAD STORIES: There are many stories of doctors who have ruined the lives of their patients, by engaging in sexual intercourse with them.

We have heard of pastors who have betrayed the trust of their congregations by living a secret, sex-craved life with select members, or who have raped or seduced others. We have heard of pastors who are married but prefer to enjoy sexual experiences with little boys instead.

We also know of athletic coaches who enjoy preying on the innocence of those entrusted to them by seducing them. We also know of politicians or CEOs who fire women, threaten, or refuse to promote qualified workers, simply because they would not play the sexual game with them. There are stories of police officers who come home feeling self-fulfilled after a great day at work, expecting to be rewarded with sex by their wives; but when they do not receive sex freely, they take or attempt to take it by force, thus causing much pain and misery.

We hear stories of young trusting daughters who enjoy sleeping on their fathers' chest, but as they grow older, are awakened to the shocking reality that they have become "daddy's little sex toy."

We also hear stories of single mothers who allow their little sons to sleep in the bed with them, thus exposing them to sexual innuendos or explicit sex acts at a very early age.

We hear of uncles, boyfriends, and others who are asked to babysit young children, but instead, violate their trust by molesting them.

It is painful. Can we stop this? Join us at "Not in My Church . . . .Sexual Abuse Prevention & Healing Seminar for People in Power" and let us begin on August 28, 2006.

The first step to putting an end to this, is by admitting that it is happening in our churches, schools, businesses, homes, and community.

n Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist. Send your questions and/or comments to, or P.O. Box N-896, Nassau, The Bahamas, or call 242-323 8772, or visit the web site at


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