Monday, August 11, 2014

Blaming, shaming and revictimizing kids by Generations Church and the Fight for GK

MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports
They called it "Freedom Fest."
Among the crowd, Greg Kelley's high school sweetheart, Gaebri Anderson -- speaking on television about Greg for the first time.
She says there's no way her boyfriend is guilty of this crime.
"From my perspective, I have known him for so long, I know his heart.  I know he's not capable of such terrible things," she said. 
...
But there is a big outcry, especially on social media from those who feel justice was done in the Greg Kelley case.

Amy Smith is with a group called SNAP that supports victims of abuse.

"Some of those that I have connected with on Twitter and through Facebook and then some have reached out to me privately through social media saying 'we live here, we live in Leander, we live in Austin.  And we're very disturbed by such a public outpouring.'  And some of them are sexual abuse victims themselves and that really touched a nerve with them," Smith said.

Smith says there are better, more private ways to show support for Kelley.  She says many are upset Sunday's Freedom Fest was held at a church.

"To a child, that says 'They're against me.'  And to even question 'Is God against me because I spoke up?'  And so it's the public way of showing support...and I don't think you need to have a public festival with dancing and games and food and a party with a slip and slide to show support for an imprisoned friend or family member," she said.

Myth 1:  Normal-appearing, well educated, middle-class people don't molest children.

One of the public's most dangerous assumptions is the belief that a person who both appears and acts normal could not be a child molester. Sex offenders are well aware of our propensity for making assumptions about private behavior from one's public presentation. In fact, as recent reports of abuse by priests have shown, child molesters rely on our misassumptions to deliberately and carefully set and gain access to child victims.
 According to Dr. Anna Salter, Ph.D., a foremost expert in sex offenders, "a double life is prevalent among all types of sex offenders . . . . The front that offenders typically offer to the outside world is usually a 'good person,' someone who the community believes has a good character and would never do such a thing" (Salter, 2003, p. 34).
In her years of work with sex offenders, Dr. Salter has found they commonly employ a variety of tactics which allow them to gain access to children while concealing their activities. For instance, many seek responsible positions that place them in close proximity with children. They also tend to adopt a pattern of socially responsible and caring behavior in public. Many have practiced and perfected their ability to charm, to be likeable and to radiate a facade of sincerity and truthfulness. This causes parents and others to drop their guard, allowing the sex offender easy and recurring access to children.

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Last night after the Fox Austin story aired with my interview, I received the following email. I will keep the sender's name confidential, but he gave me permission to post his letter saying, "Yes, you may use my letter.  Anything that lets the victims know they are not alone in this dark time is fine by me."
Dear Ms. Smith,

I was absolutely shocked to discover that a church is blindly supporting a convicted child molester and smearing the victim and his family.  But my faith in the world was restored slightly as soon as I learned that you and others are taking action to expose this so-called "support group" and to raise awareness for the true victim of this case: the abused child.  Please know that you're doing wonderful work, and I wish you all the success in the world with this and any future tasks you take on.  God bless.

All the best,

Generations Church in Leander, Texas is led by Pastors Bob and Tammy Brydon. A member of the Brydon Family, Jake Brydon, is an "organizer for the #FightforGK and #PrayforGK campaigns" along with Bob Brydon who called me expressing anger at our SNAP statement urging him to cancel the "Freedom Fest." Jake is also a spokesman for the Greg Kelley family.
The No. 1 reason that we're fighting is because there was absolutely zero evidence in this case other than the testimony of a 4-year-old boy,” said Brydon, who also serves as a family spokesman.
This kid is such a top-notch kid. He's not just innocent, he's special. He is a unique human being.
Prosecutors appeared to have a much different take.
“What parent would possibly program their kid to make that statement?” Assistant District Attorney Sunday Austin asked jurors during the trial's closing arguments, according to coverage by Austin's KVUE-TV. “What parent could possibly want this child to know about oral sex at the age of 4?” 












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