“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” ~ James 5:16
I believe SIM has a responsibility to all the MKs that have been under their care in boarding schools over the years. If those MKs are suffering effects today from abuse that occurred under the watch of SIM, it is the Mission’s responsibility to do what they can to help them recover, even if 30 years have passed.
SIM also has a responsibility to the abusers. Abusers are living with the knowledge of what they have done, which has to come with a considerable amount of guilt. I realize that some abusers may be in total denial that they did anything wrong, and may not have guilt or a desire to confess, but I usually give people the benefit of the doubt. Lets assume some of these people have a conscience and know when they have harmed someone else.
Maybe they realize the damage they have caused in someones life (most likely a lot of lives) and maybe they have confessed this to God, but have been unable to confess it to the person (s) they abused. If the Mission has a policy of keeping these matters confidential, what is the message to the abusers? The message is that you can make matters right between you and God and maybe with a private confidante within SIM, but don’t say anything to the victim, because then the whole matter will become public, damaging the reputation of SIM. The Mission might think they are protecting their missionaries or their reputation, but in doing so they are denying abusers the opportunity to confess and receive forgiveness from their victims.
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. ~ Ephesians 4:7
In the twisted world of the Kent Academy dorms, a lot of the abuse that children suffered came from other children, especially in the boy’s dorm. For years the older boys preyed upon the younger boys, and those younger boys did the same when they got older and bigger. This was both physical and sexual abuse. In order for healing to take place, these victims need an apology from their abusers, but perhaps they also need to receive forgiveness from other boys upon whom they inflicted the same punishments they had received. This is also SIM’s responsibility, because somewhere along the line the dorm parents were responsible for starting that chain of abuse, because they looked the other way and never stopped it, and because there were dorm parents who actually encouraged fighting and punishment among the boys. Nevertheless the boys themselves are carrying the burden of guilt for harming other boys. It is a complicated mess that no one wants to deal with, and in the meantime the children involved continue to suffer (as adults now) with memories of being abused and with the guilt of having abused others.
For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me. I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin. ~ Psalm 38: 17,18
When they don’t allow an investigation to move forward, or they create an atmosphere where people are afraid to talk, SIM is doing a disservice to the abusers as well as the victims.