Select Page

Our Day in Court — One Year Later

by | Jan 10, 2020 | Bill Gothard, Cult, Fierce Women, Lawsuit, The Year of Restoration

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

~ Edmond Burke

One year ago today seven courageous women said “no more”.

No more would we be silenced.

No more would we remain victims.

No one would we stuff away the past.


On that cold, bright morning in a Chicago courtroom we faced our demons. We faced our ex-cult leader, our past, our old chains, and the multiple, powerful men sitting in the gallery who had tried desperately for years to keep us silent.

We faced our greatest fears knowing we were not alone.

After six grueling hours of testimony where we were yelled at, mocked, and threatened, we finally sat nervously in the courtroom gallery waiting for the verdict.

The words our attorney had spoken on the stand hours earlier while being personally and brutally attacked by the defense counsel still rang loud in our ears.

“I am confident that everything we filed is accurate. I know their stories as has been told to me and I believed them. And as I sit in this stand under oath, I believe them as well”.

Our legal team fought tooth and nail for us. They believed our stories. But would the judge?

While grasping each other’s hands so tightly our knuckles turned white, we listened to the judge make his final ruling.

“I have been able to observe all of these seven women who have testified. I have been able to observe their manner and demeanor while testifying. I have now been on the bench for 21 years and I was an attorney for 21 years before that. I am a pretty good read, I think, as to how people are sitting, conducting themselves, acting or the like, as to whether, in my opinion, they are trustworthy and credible, or whether they aren’t necessarily testifying to facts that they believed to be true. I did not find that in any of the seven women that testified. I found their testimony to be credible. I saw the manner and demeanor that they utilized while testifying to be credible.”

That day in court we received something worth far more than any monetary compensation we could have ever received; We received validation.

For the first time it was on legal record that our stories had strength. We were told that the pouring out of our hearts and the relinquishment of our privacy had not been in vein. Over the last three years we had sacrificed so much for the chance to tell our stories and that day we realized with tears in our eye that we had finally been heard.

I will forever be proud of my fellow warriors and so incredibly grateful for their love, support, and friendship over the last four years. We walked arm in arm through hell and back and yet it did not break us.

He did not break us.

Kia Kaha my sisters. Love won. ?



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About the Author

Emily Elizabeth Anderson is a Christian blogger and rising activist for people who have experienced abuse within a Christian environment.

After growing up in a fundamentalist cult for 23 years and experiencing childhood domestic violence, Emily began her journey to recovery in 2015 and eventually found Jesus to be her ultimate healer. She soon turned her passion for writing into a blog and her story has since been featured on several media outlets including NPR.

She married her best friend, Joshua, in 2020 and together they are passionate about educating on the realities of trauma survival and recovery, as well as supporting survivors they meet through their online community.

More by Emily

Let’s Talk About Purity Culture

Can we talk about the negative effects of Purity Culture for a bit? As a recently married woman who grew up in the height of the modern Purity Movement and choose to remain a virgin until marriage, I am beginning to see even more reasons why this culture and its...

Why Am I Still a Christian?

A commenter told me yesterday, “It’s amazing you still have faith.” My answer to her? “Jesus. It’s allllllll Jesus.” In the recent years that I have been studying the dangers of Legalistic Christianity, I have seen the many, many heartbreaking consequences. Most...

My Story of Sexual Assault

Today I’d like to share a highly vulnerable story with you in the hopes of getting one very important message across: You are NEVER at fault for your sexual assault. EVER. Shortly before I met my husband, I met another man through online dating. He was from out of...

An Apology to Fellow Survivors

Today I want to share an excerpt from a new memoir I happened upon last week written by cult survivor Charity Rissler titled “Where the Willow Weeps: The Inside Story of Growing Up in a Cult, and how I Found Freedom in Christ.” I’d never heard of this cult called “The...

One Year Ago Today…

This picture popped up on my FB memories today with the caption: Off to Chicago to see some of the most dear people in the world to me. A two hour flight means plenty of time to churn out a new chapter or two. #scandalousgrace #kiakaha #fiercewomen Wow. What a memory....

2021: The Year of Nourishment

For the past few years I’ve picked a word for the year. It’s a way of laying out a focus for the entire year — something I can reflect on each day as I do life. I always pray about it and God always brings the word to my mind. This week He brought me my word:...