Wednesday, May 23, 2012

When Prevention Fails: A Sexual Abuse Response Policy for Churches

Every church ought to have the best possible sexual abuse prevention policies in their children’s ministry. These should be followed closely and reviewed regularly. But what happens when evil slips through the cracks of even the best policies and procedures? How does the church respond then? How should the church care for the victim, the victim’s parents, the alleged perpetrator, and cooperate with the legal authorities?

What is most frightening is that by the time a child molester gets caught he/she has on average 50-100 victims. How does the church find and care for the other children who have likely been abused? How does the church communicate with its people, community, and media who all want answers when these tragedies occur?

How is the situation different when the sexual abuse is by a minor against a minor instead of by an adult against a minor?

These are sickening questions. Unfortunately, they are so uncomfortable that most churches have not attempted to answer them. These questions go on the list of policies every church needs and no church has. Read more

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