I came to IHOP-KC at the end of 2007 and began at FSM (before it was IHOPU) in 2008. At the end of one of the semesters, we were all assigned on “ministry trips”. I was assigned to Peoria, IL. Usually 2-3 people would stay with “host families” from the church we were “serving”. My friend and I went to the home we were assigned to and met the family. I immediately felt weird vibes from one of their sons but tried to brush it off. I told my friend he kept starring at me weirdly. The next morning when I was showering, the same son “accidentally” walked in on me while completely undressed. I cried and felt so violated but assumed it was an accident. The next morning when I was showering, I noticed there wasn’t a lock on the door. The same son “accidentally” walked in on me again. I immediately told my friend and she told me we would go to leadership as soon as we arrived at the church. When we told our leaders what had happened, they completely minimized the situation by saying, “it was surely an accident” and “maybe you should put a towel in front of the door so no one can open it”. I was crying and literally shaking telling them this (I now realize this was a trauma response from my history with feeling violated due to sexual assault). I asked to be moved to a new host home and my dad even offered to pay for me to get a hotel. But the leadership didn’t want to “upset the host family” and that we should “be grateful for their hospitality”. One of the men on the leadership team directly asked me if, “I had walked in my towel in front of him or something”… like I tempted the son and that excused his behavior?! I was only 18 and unfortunately took all the blame on myself. The next couple days at the host home, I was too afraid to go to sleep or go to the bathroom by myself during the night. Thankfully my friend was very supportive and came with me to the bathroom every morning. This is just another example of how IHOP-KC doesn’t take things seriously and gaslights “victims”. I’m not trying to insinuate that I was a victim in this situation, I understand this is a much smaller scale compared to what others have experienced.

- Student2007-2009