Home Christian News Alleged US Anglican Abuse Victims Break With ACNAtoo and Support Bishop

Alleged US Anglican Abuse Victims Break With ACNAtoo and Support Bishop

The Twitter page for BelieveUsToo. Screen grab

The letter charges that “Joanna is second only to Mark in the damage she has caused.”

The authors of the BelieveUsToo statement did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Cherin Marie, the mother of another alleged victim of Rivera, said that Rudenborg has provided invaluable support for her and her family. In a response to BelieveUsToo she wrote, “The implication that (Joanna) is pursuing her own selfish agenda through her role as a survivor advocate is heartbreaking to my family.”

Rudenborg told RNS, “While I’m grieved about how my role is represented in the letter, I have owned the truth of my position as both victim and enabler to Mark’s community and to church leaders since I came forward about my own abuse, and to the public since last July 20 on Twitter.”

She added that she can’t defend her actions publicly “without disclosing identifying and highly personal information about a survivor whose abuse and story intersected with mine.”

In an email to RNS, ACNAtoo advocates said that many if not most abuse survivors would be excluded from advocacy if they were expected to behave perfectly “in the midst of trauma and coercive control.”

BelieveUsToo also alleged that Rudenborg receives 100% of the donations to ACNAtoo.

Abbi Nye, an ACNAtoo advocate and former member of the Upper Midwest Diocese, told RNS in an email that ACNAtoo does not receive survivor support funds but that a former team member did establish a GoFundMe on behalf of Rudenborg and Cherin Marie, who is known only by her first and middle names. Cherin has said she asked that all funds be directed to Rudenborg, who has received $3,376 in donations over the last eight months.

ACNAtoo advocates said Rudenborg would continue to work with the group, which they said has no single leader.

BelieveUsToo also expressed support for Ruch, who they claim has been falsely accused of covering up Rivera’s alleged abuse of a 9-year-old child, since both police and the Department of Children and Family Services were already notified of the abuse before Ruch learned of it.

Cherin Marie, the child’s mother, told RNS she never suggested that Ruch failed as a mandated reporter. Rather, she claimed, Ruch didn’t inform members of his diocese of the allegations against Rivera for two years, didn’t provide a safe space for other survivors to come forward and didn’t hold other church leaders accountable for failing to report the abuse to authorities.

The BelieveUsToo statement went on to say that Rivera met his victims not through his ministry, first at Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Illinois, the diocesan headquarters, and later at Christ Our Light Anglican in Big Rock, Illinois, but at a “multiple-dwelling property” in Big Rock where Rivera and several of his victims lived.