Creflo Dollar Arrested For Child Abuse

I don’t pay much attention to evangelical preachers except when they are arrested for child abuse. This grabs my attention.

The mega-church fundamentalist preacher, Creflo Dollar, was arrested last week and charged with simple assault and cruelty to children. Dollar doesn’t deny that things got physical in his household. In fact, he admits he put his hands on his daughter and tried to restrain her when she tried to leave the house to go to a party. He admits to pulling her down on the ground and trying to spank her with his shoe. He denies choking her and slapping her. He claims the marks on her neck weren’t left from his hands but were “eczema that that been there for ten years.”

His fifteen year old daughter tells a different story. She called 911 and told operators that her father had choked and punched her. She also indicated that “it was not the first time” it had occurred. The 19 year old daughter who was also there during the incident agreed with her sister’s account.

The comments about this story are alarming and disturbing. Many support his actions as disciplining his daughter.  Most of the comments are centered on wanting to know what the teenage girl was doing and how she was behaving. People want to know all sides of the story. These statements and questions are laced with trying to determine whether or not his daughter was a good girl or bad girl. How disrespectful was she being? What kind of a party was she trying to go to? Did she hit him first?

These types of comments are looking to see whether or not she deserved what she got.

Physical violence with a child is never justified. Period.

If your teenage daughter is physically threatening your safety than call the police.

Police are called to domestic disputes all the time. But just because the police are called doesn’t mean that someone goes to jail. In fact, unless you live in a state where there is a mandatory arrest for domestic violence calls, many times nobody goes to jail. Unless of course, the officers determine there is a reason to do so. By the way, Georgia has very lenient arrest policies for domestic violence. It is entirely up to the officer’s discretion. And in this case, the officers determined there was sufficient reason to arrest Dollar.

This is one of the problems with relying on corporal punishment to discipline your children. It may work for parents when the child is young and small. You may easily be able to control your child through physical force and restraint. However, children grow and children get bigger which means you have to use more force to control them. If you are still relying on corporal punishment when your child becomes a teenager than things are bound to get out of control and escalate into a physical fight because teenagers fight back.

The video of his sermon a few days after his arrest is here (if you are not a fan of corporal punishment or fundamentalist Christianity, you may want to take your blood pressure medication first):

Did you notice he still got a standing ovation? He never admits to doing anything wrong. Just that things got “emotional.” He goes on to say that “raising children in our culture of disrespect is a challenge” which is quickly followed by “all is well in the Dollar household.” Really? I would like to ask his daughters if they feel the same way about their household.

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11 Responses to Creflo Dollar Arrested For Child Abuse

  1. Meagan says:

    “This statement stuck out at me: “unless you live in a state where there is a mandatory arrest for domestic violence calls”

    Is it considered a domestic violence call if you call about your teenager if they are physically threatening your safety? Because I can see that discouraging a parent from calling 911. Actually I can see it discouraging anyone from calling 911 on any family member, it sounds like a dangerous rule to have in place.

    That aside, my baby has eczema, and I’m a little skeptical that eczema could be mistaken for bruising. Not that I’m some kind of expert on strangulation bruising, but I’d think they would be much darker than eczema, and probably look less like – you know- eczema. Even ignoring the other daughter that backed up the first daughter’s story.

    I have friends who spank their children, and I genuinely believe that not only do they do it for love and the belief that it’s necessary, but because of this I don’t think it harms their children. Bu you’re absolutely right, if you are still spanking a fifteen year old, you are evidently not in control, and you risk losing MORE control, over yourself AND your child.

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks, Meagan. I’m not sure how the mandatory arrest applies in regard to teenagers or kids. There’s almost always different rules when kids are involved. I know spanking is a heated topic and I feel like spanking is a personal decision that each parent should be allowed to make. But what Dollar did was not what I would call spanking.

  2. Bonita Henderson says:

    I am a mother of three and grandmother of seven, therefore, discipline has been necessary in the rearing of my children. Nevertheless, not in the manner that Creflo Dollar felt the need to deal with his 15 year old daughter.

    He has yet to apologize for his behavior and other parents agreed with him, he feel justified. There was no righteousness in what his daughter said to 911 he had done. Has the whole christian world went crazy? People want to believe in him so it justifies what they are doing.

    Children should be discipline in love, not beat down like some stranger in the street. The problem is the children see the real you with all your faults. You can’t play act with them and pull the wool over their eye like you can with others. Perhaps Mr. Dollar was afraid she said too much and had burst his bubble. He can’t control his household!

    But like any good public figure, he hurried out there with damage control. They all bite the bait. Now he got to figure out how to get pass the law. He don’t control the legal establishment!

  3. Oommma says:

    As the mother of a spirited 20 year old son I am able to withhold judgement of Mr. Dollar’s actions until the entire story is told from mouths other than those of teenagers. The older daughter’s statement changed from one story to another. The police interpreted the change as having to do with whether or not her parents could hear her. That may not be the case. At 17 I convinced my 20 year old married sister to take my side against my mother. We laugh about it now, but my mother had to threaten my then adult sister with arrest if she didn’t get out of her house. At 20 she was still pretty foolish…a good sister but not very wise or mature. The older Dollar daughter may very well be acting as a good sister and protecting her younger sister from the consequences of making a false statement to police. Which she stood accused of had the older girl not changed her story.

    Bottom line, I don’t know if what happened was abuse. Just because a 15 year old called 911 does not make it abuse. It could just as easily be that Mr. Dollar is dealing with an aggressive teenager who didn’t like that she couldn’t yell and push (physically) her father around. What I do know is that the daughter was fully aware of the attention her call would bring to her father. Listening to the 911 tape I didn’t hear fear, but I did hear anger. I have seen no pictures of the daughter’s neck, but I heard her say that she had no physical injuries.

    I believe that children should always be protected, but I do not believe this daughter needs protection from her father. I believe she made her ultimate play for power within her family and not out of fear.

    • Mommy Psychologist says:

      Thanks for your comments. You’re right, just because a teenager called 911 doesn’t make it abuse. It does make it abuse when the police determine abuse has occurred and press charges. Check out the police report where the officer describes the injuries.

      • Perseverence says:

        The police determining abuse occurred does not make it abuse. Being convicted in a court of law, however, would suggest abuse. The police routinely arrest people who are subsequently cleared of charges. It’s a problem that this country does not recognize this fundamental.

  4. Reinaldo Martinez says:

    Child Abuse has been around for a long time. When the law was finally made on cild abuse to protect the children. The child tund around and used it against their own parents. Loving parents were forced to stop correcting their children. Yet, when they became crinimals the legal system would blame the parents. However, when you have a child that is sexually or brutally abused the law allows the abusers to walk. Even my wife and I lost our jobs for reporting child abuse in the Bd.of Ed. The school system destroyed our future. Where is the justice?

  5. Endia says:

    Going off of what a previous person, Oommma, said I am also able to withhold judgment of Mr. Dollar’s actions until the entire story is told from mouths other than those of teenagers. I also feel that there is a strong possibility that the second daughter’s statement could have been just a cover up or some thing of the like.

    When it comes to the police’s arrest I feel that decision could have been with the intention of possibly tarnishing Dollar’s reputation. Of course I understand that there is the possibility that the officer did not recognize Dollar however taking into consideration that he did he could have made the arrest out of the hopes of public attention.

    Also it has been some months now and there has yet to be any further information about the entire situation. Usually with situations with high profile pastors like Dollar new information about the case is always coming up. This has me believing that some false claims may have been made or simply as Dollar said he should have never been arrested.

    It is also important to remember that we weren’t there. Making strong accusations based on weak evidence is quite biased (for a lack of a better word). All children need to be disciplined but beating, which I would consider to include: punching, strongly pushing, throwing, kicking, is wrong. Discipline would be spanking, grounding, or lightly hitting. I believe that discipline is right.

  6. Berlin Mamma says:

    It is so obvious that people want to justify what ever they think they are doing or could be doing, hence the reaction of the public. I am with you 100% – violence is not to be justified whenever it is against child, woman, mand or an animal. We deserve to live without a threat.

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