Dear Filipe Santos, the Echo Staff, the Echo Board and Echo Church Congregants,
We write on behalf of the growing community of survivors of abuse by leaders at Echo Church (the “Echo Survivors”) and call on the leadership of Echo Church to terminate any Non-Disclosure Agreements, Non-Disparagement Clauses and/or Non-Disparagement Agreements (“NDAs”) of former employees.
We note that Echo Church released a statement justifying the use of NDAs to protect the church’s passwords and personal contact information. While we recognize that NDAs are frequently used in church and employment contexts, and that privacy is a legitimate concern for the church’s leadership, allowing survivors of abuse to share their stories with the public has no connection to this concern. Echo Survivors are not asking for this information to be released in order to share church secrets or private personal information, rather, we are asking for the church to allow victims the opportunity to speak about their own experience of abuse.
Echo Survivors are not requesting the release from NDAs to “spread gossip and destructive slander” as you have so egregiously suggested in your public statement. The ability of survivors of abuse to share their stories is integral to their own personal healing as well as to bringing accountability and healing to the broader church community.
At present, 1316 members of the public have signed a petition requesting that Echo Church release former employees from the terms of their NDAs so they can share their stories. We call on the leadership of Echo Church to take this call seriously. It is disingenuous and inappropriate for the Echo Leadership to hide behind excuses of “confidentiality” and “gossip and destructive slander” to prevent former victims of abuse from speaking up.
We urge the leadership of Echo Church to immediately release former employees from their NDAs which prevent them from telling their stories about their experiences at Echo Church, and continue the process of healing.
The Echo Survivors