There’s a lot of sacrifice in whistleblowing. It changes your life in an instant. But the thing is none of us think about it until a cataclysmic injustice has been done. It’s so easy to criticise someone calling focus to the truth when we’ve never been in the throes of injustice.
Whistleblowing is a definitive stand against injustice.
Being a definitive stand, there is the past and the harms that were done that have not been accounted for. That bestows a present littered with grief. The present, into which a survivor of abuse is indelibly cast, literally survives the atrocity that is doubled by the apparent lack of justice on top of the original cases of abuse. And then there’s the deafening silence of the unknown future.
The future, having cast the truth into the public square, is both a frightening personal reality, having painted a target on your back, watching for the attack that most comes when you least expect it, and it’s a weapon in the hands of a perpetrator, stalking being their Avant Garde.
Once the whistle is blown, it’s ever blown, and there’s no going back.
Don’t mistake this, whistleblowing is a form of modern-day martyrdom. You may not lose your life, but you lose a lot in terms of reputation, what others might think of you, even your standing as a Christian. You lose your church, oftentimes your friends, and you challenge those who enabled the abuse by standing by initially or through its being covered up. Sometimes you lose your employment and/or your prospects. It impacts hard on your identity; there’s much more to lose than to gain.
Of course, I’m only mentioning what is the tip of the iceberg.
Just as literal martyrdom would always be the hardest decision to make—to stand with Jesus and to not recant your faith in the face of terrorism—figurative whistleblowing is standing with Jesus in the truth in the face of murderous intent.
One murder is physical, the other is spiritual. Don’t forget how Jesus talked about murder in Matthew 5:21-24... our Lord, Saviour and King didn’t just talk about physical murder. His point was spiritual. That’s the deeper teaching. That’s what disciples (true disciples) are interested in.
I know that the mere suggestion of whistleblowing being a form of martyrdom will anger some, who would label the martyr a hero and the whistle-blower a traitor but take a look at that.
Labelling someone a traitor for being a prophet of truth, for having simply sought to have a satisfactory resolution to their claims for justice, is obviously a low blow of DARVO (defend, attack, reverse victim and offender).
It’s clear that the decision to blow the whistle on abuse is a bold and courageous move.
This article presumes real harm has been done to the whistle-blower or the party they represent.