Bob Jones University will be implementing new practices for responding to victims of sexual abuse after an outside group performed a two-year investigation.
GRACE, which stands for Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment, released an investigation report in December; the Christian university is now making changes based upon the group’s recommendations.
According to WORLD magazine, students told GRACE that they felt BJU did not respond appropriately when they reported abuse. Some victims were told to move on while others said they felt blamed by staff members.
At a March 10 chapel service, BJU President Steve Pettit addressed GRACE’s findings.
“We want you to know that we are deeply sorry that you were hurt and that we did not help you in our response. This was wrong and unacceptable,” Pettit said.
“I was… grieved to learn that when she came to us for comfort and guidance she left disappointed, deeply hurt, and confused. In her case, we did not understand the depths of her trauma.”
The university said it would not follow all of GRACE’s suggestions, as the group said BJU should refer all sexual abuse victims to trusted resources off campus for counseling.
A BJU statement said “there currently may be limits to our ability to deal with certain aspects of trauma present in some cases of sexual abuse/assault,” and students would have the option of receiving counseling off campus.
Publication date: March 17, 2015