In the run-up to the election of the 14th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, activists opposed to abuse have launched a campaign to boycott/defund the diocese until it takes steps to end abuse. Demands include:
- Taking abuse seriously.
- Ending victim-shaming and demonization.
- Forbidding clergy from engaging in retaliation for the filing of Title IV complaints.
- Ending the diocese’s current practice of requiring victims of abuse to go to court to obtain redress.
- Ending coverup of egregious cases of sexual harassment of female church workers by clergy.
- Ending the diocese’s current practice of dismissing Title IV complaints on the basis that criminal charges have not been brought.
- Ending the diocese’s current practice of ignoring victims of abuse on the basis that bishops “should not get too involved.”
- Taking formal action to intervene in high-conflict parishes and situations through use of outside experts.
- Retracting in writing untruthful statements made by diocesan officials about existing conflicts.
- Making clear that whistleblowers are honored and respected, and acting in the church’s best interest.
- Adopting written whistleblower and anti-bullying provisions.
- Adding bullying to existing safe church training.
- Removing church officials, chancellors, intake officers, and others who have covered up abuse or aided and abetting it by turning a blind eye.
- Engaging in truthtelling about the church’s role in abuse of all sorts
The activists have launched a website at https://boycottdiova.org and plan to issue press releases, demonstrate outside diocesan churches and events, and name abusers, including those who aid and abet abuse by turning a blind eye.