Here is a summary of quick responses to our frequently asked questions:
1. What is an MK?
MK stands for “missionary kid” and is the commonly used vernacular among missionaries and churches to identify the children of missionaries.
2. Who started this blog?
This blog was started by two American MKs who lived in Bangladesh as children, two of many victims of Donn Ketcham’s sexual abuse, one of whom was Susannah Beals Baker. After several weeks, a team came alongside to support the blog and Susannah as a unit, and this team of moderators included other ABWE MKs who grew up in Bangladesh.
3. Was ABWE confronted privately before this blog was created?
In short, yes. Many times over the course of decades, the highest levels of ABWE were confronted by both Susannah Beals Baker and others, with the truth about Donn Ketcham and the concerns about ABWE’s handling of sexual sin and crime. Here is a link to ABWE’s own confession, published after this blog made just some of their sins public.
4. Isn’t talking about these things publicly going to destroy ABWE and is that what you want?
ABWE has an opportunity to restore the integrity of their ministry by acknowledging their sins—and they have done this part after approximately 2 weeks of this blog being live—and then showing their repentance is real by putting feet to the words of the confession. This is the part we are still waiting for. If ABWE cannot restore their organization’s integrity by true repentance and full accounting of their mishandling of this matter, then what we must say is that God has not called us to protect institutions, he has called us to protect his children.
5. I was abused by Donn Ketcham, what can I do now?
If you were abused by Donn Ketcham or any other ABWE missionary, we advise you to report the crime to your local authorities immediately, no matter how much time has passed or in what country the abuse occurred. It can be helpful to have an advocate with you during this process, and we suggest contacting RAINN for help. You are far more likely to be taken seriously and not be brushed off–even if the statutes of limitation have long expired or your local police do not have jurisdiction–if you have a RAINN advocate with you. Your RAINN advocate should also be able to help you determine which branch of law enforcement your report should be given to. UPDATE May 2016: Victims of Donn Ketcham, please see this announcement.
6. My child was a victim of sexual abuse. What can I do to help?
The best thing you can do for your child, whether they are grown or still young, is to get them a proper therapist with special training in child abuse and the post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) abuse typically causes. Steer clear of any kind of counseling that does not address the very real physical, emotional and often lifelong damage abuse causes. Unfortunately this will eliminate any Christian therapists or counselors who believe victims should be able to forgive and “heal” and move on quickly, who do not recognize that victims are not at fault, or who are not knowledgeable regarding the effects of trauma on the human brain. This also eliminates pastoral counseling unless the pastor has been specially trained to handle PTSD and abuse cases. We cannot possibly overemphasize the damage that can be done when an abused individual is given improper counseling. Improper counseling can arguably do as much harm as the initial abuse.
6. Weren’t you initially very critical of Pii as the investigative team?
Yes. The abrupt termination of the GRACE contract by ABWE and ABWE’s refusal to communicate clearly with us at any point and answer specific questions about Pii (as well as Pii’s refusal to answer specific questions about the investigation in writing initially) was very disheartening and distressing to us for a long period of time. However, Pii has always asserted that they would perform a neutral third-party investigation, despite their difficulty demonstrating that with their behavior and handling of concerns for most of the investigation.
7. If ABWE or any of its employees did anything wrong, including abuse, why don’t you just report them to authorities? Wouldn’t people be in jail by now if anything criminal actually happened?
Unfortunately the matter is not so simple. Yes, we have absolutely reported the abuse and ABWE’s cover up to every proper authority we have access to and believe strongly that it is a Christian’s responsibility to do so for the protection of others, however foreign soil issues and statutes of limitations prevent us from being able to seek justice in a court of law. We have reported, but all that the reporting has accomplished is that now Donn Ketcham can no longer practice medicine in the state of Michigan (which is no small thing, actually, as he was a family physician in Allendale well into his eighties, right up until he was asked to surrender his license in 2011). The PROTECT Act of 2003 now protects American children who are abused on foreign soil by other Americans, but it was not a retroactive law and therefore cannot help us. Even civil suits require legal grounds and the foreign soil and jurisdiction issues make our case extremely complex and difficult. Please never make the assumption that because no one has been charged with a crime, no crimes took place. Historical cases of abuse (meaning: old) are extremely difficult to prosecute and therefor are rarely pursued by law enforcement.