In a series of articles posted by a Dutch newspaper, the former pastor of The Door, Zwolle, Netherlands, was accused of having over twenty women slaughter chickens and fish for his own sexual fetishism. Only one of these women gathered the courage to stop Valk’s abuse. This woman also claimed Valk had asked her for sexual favors and groped her breasts.
To everyone’s shock, the lawsuit that followed ended in an acquittal. Since Valk was not officially an ordained minister (Christian Fellowship Ministries doesn’t believe in Bible school), it couldn’t be proven that Valk was indeed in a position where he was considered a minister or caregiver. He also lied about not having much influence in people’s lives (which everyone who was in the church then know’s that’s a lie) and the lack of that realization is the only thing that got him acquitted.
Days after the acquittal, a video emerged on YouTube that was posted to an account with the same name as the victim’s blog, showing the newspaper article that stated Evert Valk was acquitted.
I suspect Evert Valk posted that video, confusing the acquittal with a declaration of innocence and blaming the victim for a false accusation.
We know from the research that false accusations are a very small percentage of allegations (2% to 10%), and we know innocent men rarely face criminal charges; even fewer are ever convicted or serve prison time.
Evert isn’t innocent, he’s just acquitted.
Why lie? Does he hope to get reinstated?
At best he can claim he’s a liar, adulterer (rather than a sexual predator with a concerning fetishism), and “not a real pastor” who supposedly didn’t have real influence.
And the church thinks he’s suffered enough because (and I quote): “He’s never allowed to come back to church.”
What’s worse? Being banished (read: held accountable) or being sexually abused and denied any form of justice?
There are charges of sexual abuse in this organization going back 30 years online.
The church is stacked against victims. People — including church leaders, ministers, family members, and police — don’t believe them. Particularly in the church, it seems it’s easier for people to believe victims lie than to believe men perpetrate, especially if the men are leaders and perceived as “godly.” We see this clearly in many churches’ refusal to understand sexual relationships between pastors and parishioners as abusive; rather they frame these relationships as “consensual.”
More information about rape statistics: Washington Post
More information about handling abuse in the church: Why can’t churches get handling abuse right?
More information about abusers in the church: If I were an abuser, what church would I want to attend?