Ep. 389 Comprehensive Data-Gathering Is Crucial to Help Victims

Ep. 389 Comprehensive Data-Gathering Is Crucial to Help Victims

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Shows Main Idea – Helping the victims of abuse cannot be like looking down a tube, excluding comprehensive, peripheral data-gathering. We must believe the victim so much that we want to investigate every possible option to find the whole truth about the abuse so that we can serve the offended and offender in the best possible ways. In this episode, Rick talks about two ways to investigate abuse situations—the inverted and comprehensive belief models and why the latter is the wisest way to help victims.

Life Over Coffee · Ep. 389 Comprehensive Data-Gathering Is Crucial to Help Victims

Show Notes

You may want to read:

Steelman Abuse

  1. Abuse is real, and the victims need a fair hearing for understanding, affirmation, and sympathy.
  2. Nobody should enter any of these conversations with cynicism, suspicion, or unbelief. Believing all men, women, and children is wise, helpful, necessary, and should be without argumentation.
  3. All Christians should default to trust, truth, and belief. To live otherwise is the path to insanity.

Strawman Counselors

  1. Because of the bad practices of some soul-care providers, it’s unfair and disingenuous to say that all biblical counselors or pastors are not competent to help abuse victims. The problem here is absolutism.
  2. Though I make the argument that bad practices happen (steelman), I do not hold to the categorical shaming (strawman) of every biblical counselor or pastor who tries to help abuse victims.

Inverted Belief Model

Sometimes sloganeering and cliches communicate inferior positions, e.g., love languages, and one of the worst is “believe all women,” which was compatible with the #metoo movement. When you shrink your belief model down to one perspective, you’ll never know the whole truth about a matter. The inverted belief model leaves you looking at a problem like you were viewing an issue through a tube.

An Inverted Belief Model

Narrowing the scope of discovery to only believing the abused will not help them the way you could if you had a more extensive belief model. If you have succumbed to this type of investigatory shrinkage, please consider a few possibilities why and if any of them are true for you, please find someone to help you change.

  • Have you fallen for the sloganeering?
  • Are you gaslit, intimidated, or manipulated by a victim?
  • Do you struggle with the fear of others?
  • Are you immature, which is a sign you might not have the qualification to care at this level?
  • Do you self-censor for other reasons, i.e., paying too much attention to cancel culture?

Comprehensive Belief Model

The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him (Proverbs 18:17).

Default to trust does not limit itself to believing only the person sharing a story. For example, if one of our children told their version of events, my default would be to believe them. Then a second child tells their side, which is different from the first, I believe them too. There is no conflict because a rational and healthy way to live is default to trust.

The key, however, is not to leave their stories alone, allowing them to coexist without more engagement and research. I want to interact with both children in good faith (trust, truth, belief), hoping to find the truth. Of course, they appreciate that I believe them, and they proceed with me as we attempt to discern the truth. A comprehensive belief model permits default to trust and more investigation. (See the infographic.)

  • What does the victim have to say?
  • What does the Bible have to say?
  • What do others have to say?
  • What do the contexts have to say?
  • Because I’m not omniscient, I bow my heart before God, seeking His wisdom in this multi-perspectival approach to problem-solving.

Sequential Model Elements

  1. Humility: I do not know everything.
  2. Courage: I submit to the audience of one.
  3. Discernment: I trust He will help me to sift for the truth.
  4. Process: I will process the information.
  5. Time: I will take all the time I need.
  6. Change: I’m free to change my mind.
  7. Mystery: I know I cannot know perfectly.
  8. Trust: I trust God to guide me as I make decisions.

Call to Action

  1. When it comes to abuse cases, do you swing in one direction or the other? Do you believe all victims to the exclusion of additional information? Alternately, do you communicate a lack of belief to the abused?
  2. Would those under your care say, “Oh, yes, he believes me”? They are not paranoid about where you are regarding their stories.
  3. Is there a temptation to self-censor or let others manipulate you? Why or why not?
  4. Do you become impatient, rude, or harsh with those relationships that don’t seem ever to end?
  5. Do others feel your lack of “faith for the process?” If you don’t have “faith for the process,” they won’t either.
  6. In what specific way do you need to adjust your soul care efforts after listening to this podcast? Will you talk to someone to gain their perspective and guidance?

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