We found out recently that an adult member of our church had intentionally touched a child sexually, and repeatedly. As an elder, I was called in. It was my first experience with this sin, but sadly, our church has dealt with it several times before. I’m grateful this incident did not, to the best of my knowledge, happen on our property, or by a member of our staff. Nevertheless, it has destroyed a marriage, damaged a child and permanently sullied the reputation of the perpetrator.
So, what should a church do to make this sin less likely to occur, and how should they deal with it, if and when it does? Keep reading
9 Ways to Protect Your Children from Sexual Abuse
Typologies of Child Sexual Abusers [PDF]
Child sexual abuse perpetrators are not always pedophiles, individuals who are sexually oriented toward children rather than adults. They may be sociopaths who make no distinction as to the age or gender of the object of their sexual interest. Some forms of pedophilia are situational. Due to relationship problems with an adult sexual partner, the perpetrator may turn to a child for sexual gratification. Poor interpersonal skills or other factors may keep the perpetrator from seeking another adult sexual partner. This type of pedophile is sometimes referred to as a "regressed" offender. "Fixated" offenders, however, have never developed an attraction to age-appropriate sexual partners. They may be sexually attracted to children in a particular age range and/or of a particular gender. I have included a review of the typologies of child sexual abusers for readers, which may prove helpful.