Andy Savage

From Christianity Today: "Andy Savage, the pastor who disclosed his decades-old assault on a teen in his former youth group to an applauding congregation, stepped down from his position at a Memphis megachurch on Tuesday."

Woodson’s story reignited the conversation over how church leaders can better address abuse allegations by alerting the police and/or allowing outside firms to investigate.

“When people see churches trying to handle investigations of their own leaders internally, it leads many to doubt whether the church really desires to bring the truth to light,” wrote researcher Julie Zamzow. “Even if you think you can be objective, if the public views your actions as trying to sweep things under the rug, this does real damage, not only to your church but to the entire Christian community.”

In Savage’s case, Billy Graham Center for Evangelism executive director and CT blogger Ed Stetzer wrote, “so much damage is already done—most of all (and most importantly) to Jules, but (again) to the broader Christian witness.”
— Christianity Today

The need to listen to women in these situations is clear.

The backlash over Savage’s response and the ways other churches have mishandled abuse cases are reminders to listen to victims and to be mindful of language used to characterize rape, assault, and harassment when allegations arise.

Christian advocates have emphasized the importance of recognizing abuse as abuse, rather than using language to downplay what happened or to suggest that a sexual relationship between a youth pastor and a teen in a youth group could be consensual.
— Christianity Today