More on #ChurchToo — Our expanded Q&A with Jimmy Hinton on sexual abuse in churches

The Christian Chronicle

March 1, 2018

By Bobby Ross Jr.

‘Survivors care for and support one another because they feel abandoned and betrayed by the church,’ Hinton says.

For Jimmy Hinton, there was no question: He had to do the right thing, even though it meant turning in his own father.

In 2011, a woman confided to Hinton that his father, John Hinton — who spent 27 years as the preacher at the Somerset Church of Christ in Pennsylvania — had sexually abused her when she was a young girl.

That report prompted an investigation that resulted in the pedophile preacher, now 69, pleading guilty to sexually assaulting and taking nude photographs of four young girls, ages 4 to 7.

While his father serves a 30- to 60-year sentence at a state prison, Jimmy Hinton works to create awareness far beyond Somerset.

In an interview with the The Christian Chronicle, Hinton discussed social media advocacy, the sexual abuse problem and steps churches can take to prevent abuse:

Question: How has social media changed the overall landscape for survivor recovery, advocacy and activism?

Hinton: Social media can make survivors visible and feel validated where they are otherwise emotionally invisible and silenced. In the past two years, I’ve seen more survivor support groups cropping up, which encourages me that they are finding alternative avenues for help.

Survivors care for and support one another because they feel abandoned and betrayed by the church. They understand each other because they all know the depth of wickedness that was perpetrated on other survivors.

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