Buzzfeed just published a story about Megan Rondini, a University of Alabama student who was raped by J.T. Bunn Jr, and then victimized more by the powers that be in Tuscaloosa. She would eventually commit suicide because of the lack of support and the PTSD that she experienced after her rape and sexual assault.

I have never heard Megan’s story and the tragic circumstances that led to her death until today, but I do know this: This type of sexual assault and rape is not uncommon, y’all, especially in college towns around the South. Backlogs and powerful men who get away with assault = many more stories like Megan that we just don’t know about.

IF you know someone who has been raped or assaulted, be there for them. Say NO MORE to powerful men who get away with this sinful and deplorable behavior. The T.J. Bunn Jr.’s in the world exist all over the place, and they must be exposed for who and what they are: powerful men who prey on the vulnerable because deep down, they are just cowards who are thinking only about their own desires and power.

As a clergy person, it is imperative that I speak out against such violence, because not only does this happen in institutions of higher learning, it happens in churches. At a recent sexual ethics training I attended for clergy, I became aware of the amount of slut shaming and victim blaming that goes on, rendering many victims powerless. There was this need to protect the clergy men who perpetuate such violence, so much so that many of my friends in the room, particularly women, who have had experiences of rape and assault by clergy men, were dismissed and further victimized. The next day, I was given the opportunity to speak out against such victimization and I did.

Why do I feel the need to speak out?

Because It Must End. #NoMore
We must all speak up and speak out, particularly now, more than ever. If you would like to support any groups that are working with victims of sexual violence, rape, and assault, here are some non-profits that I support.

The Joyful Heart Foundation
RAINN in Washington DC
Mississippi Coalition of Crisis Centers
The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women of the UMC