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Preacher’s guilty plea little help to victim, family

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2012

By K. Godfrey Easter

Seattle, WA (BlackNews.com) — Kenny has barely entered his twenties now and his frustrated mother, Lishuan, insists, “He’s still struggling.” Since Kenny spoke out publicly about the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a well known Northwest minister, he’s been unable to find help where it ought to be found in abundance.

Minister Timothy Dampier (1), the gifted and locally popular Christian minister pled guilty last week to 22 counts of sexually abusing 10 Greater sexually area children over a ten year span. Dampier began preying on him when he was only ten and the abuse continued well into Kenny’s pubescent years.

During young Kenny’s formative years, Lishuan trusted Dampier enough to be her son’s mentor. Kenny played the drums for his predator, as Dampier skillfully played the organ, sang or preached. Kenny was one of the well regarded young preacher’s first victims. He used to refer to his attacker as “Minister Dampier,” “God Dad,” and “Uncle.” It continued until he returned home one day and told his mom only that he had had enough of hanging with Dampier.

Judy Jones, the Midwest Associate Director for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) (2), said, “We have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers.”

The once trusted preacher’s guilty plea has done little if nothing to respond to the internal struggles that Kenny and his mom still endure. The church where Lishuan, Kenny and Dampier all worshipped when he was first arrested on just four counts of child molestation has helped Lishuan and Kenny even less.

Dr. Robert Lee Manaway (3), also a degreed counselor, alongside the leadership of his Seattle based Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, has been mostly hush-mouthed about the horrific ordeal since the news first broke almost two years ago. Another neighborhood pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffrey, Sr. (4), senior pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, stepped up. He didn’t hesitate to inform authorities after Kenny personally confided in him.

“My job is to call the police and that’s what I did,” Dr. Jeffrey told reporters.

Like many exhausted moms, Lishuan understands where her son is right now mentally. It’s not just because Lishuan is his natural mother, but she has also been violently raped. There’s no discounting the fact that abuse of any kind is mentally debilitating. But, when such damage inflected on children is caused by trusted church leadership, where are families supposed to turn for support? Who can be trusted, if not the church?

“These boys are very brave for speaking up and taking action to get this child predator behind bars and away from kids,” Jones, whose agency unfortunately boasts of having over 12,000 abused members, commented.

Optimistically, she states, “Your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.” In Kenny’s case, coming forward has only compounded his tragedy. Kenny told reporters, “… my trust was betrayed in the worst way.”

“Children who are abused, especially those who have been sexually abused, often grow up feeling isolated and alone. As adults, they experience any number of medical and psychological problems including insomnia, substance abuse, eating disorders, suicidal ideation, anxiety and PTSD,” says Jeri R. White, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Child Mental Health Specialist, and Executive Director of Southeast Youth and Family Services (5) in Seattle.

Now, entering into adulthood an already wounded man without a social support system that he trusts in place, he continues enduring tremendous psychological hardship, which is played out through self-destructive acts… according to his mother.

K. Godfrey Easter is a controversial Christian author, church organist and the founder of www.ACTSandBEYOND.org, an online resources ministry dedicated to raising awareness and bringing healing to victims of religious injustice.
(1) News article on Timothy Dampier – www.actsandbeyond.org/abmi/?page_id=5
(2) SNAP Website – www.snapnetwork.org
(3) Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church website – www.tabernacleseattle.net
(4) Initial New Article About Dampier Arrest – www.q13fox.com/news/kcpq-church-musician-charged-with-child-molestation-20110509,0,5634951.story
(5) Southeast Youth and Family Services website – http://website.seyfs.org

Photo Caption: Minister Timothy Dampier

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