Tear Down This Wall of Silence by Dale Ingraham (with Rebecca Davis) talks about the problem of sexual abuse in churches, and how it can be better addressed. But this book isn’t just for pastors or churchgoers. It’s for anyone. The stories in this book – relating to victims not being heard and perpetrators who aren’t being held responsible for their crimes – are things that can happen anywhere, and this book is very educational.
Sexual abuse is something that is constantly in the news, yet churches often don’t speak publically about it. But Dale and Faith Ingraham have been very proactive, and have founded Speaking Truth in Love Ministries, “awakening churches and other ministries to the realities of sexual abuse within our Christian community and helping them understand how to deal with it.”
I liked that Dale included the story about convicting Faith’s criminal father, which is interspersed throughout the book. It’s also great how he includes so many stories of other survivors. The book is well-researched, with thorough citations.
Tear Down This Wall of Silence discusses how churches often protect themselves before the victims, and reach out to the offenders instead of the victims. The book helpfully talks about how friends and family can help survivors. It’s also nice how Ingraham brings up people’s arguments against addressing sexual abuse in the church, such as, “We don’t want to hurt the cause of Christ.” Ingraham has excellent responses to these arguments.
One line that really stuck out to me was, “Why would any Christian tell people who are trying to stop sexual abuse that they are being unloving?” So often people are trying to stop an offender from offending again, yet they are met with contempt. Tear Down This Wall of Silence not only addresses the problem of sexual abuse in the church, but it offers ways to help stop future offenses and support the victims.
I received a review copy from Ambassador International. Tear Down This Wall of Silence is available here.