As a father and a church leader, protecting our children from the devastating consequences of sexual abuse is very important to me. My heart has been broken by the stories of pain and suffering caused by sexual abuse.
Yesterday, I sat in on a workshop by our Diocese explaining our spiritual mandate to protect the children in our congregations. You can watch a recording of this workshop: here. They’ve also launched a webpage dedicated to resourcing this issue that includes our Bishop’s standards and reporting procedures. (http://www.c4so.org/children/)
This is an uncomfortable topic, but the Church must intentionally provide our staff, volunteers, and children with boundaries that will protect and nurture them. My eyes were opened to the pathological nature of sexual abuse by the book Predators by Dr. Anna Salter. It is worth your time to read, although it is very difficult.
My children also have a great picture book that the Rev. Justin Holcomb helped create called, “God Made All of Me.” It is a gentle and age-appropriate resource for helping my pre-school aged kids. It equips parents to talk with our children about their bodies and helps them understand the difference between the appropriate and inappropriate touch. I wholeheartedly recommend it. Available online at Amazon.com.
Resources Highlighted by C4SO:
Sexual Abuse Awareness Training & Systems:
Background Checks for Staff and Volunteers:
Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic (ACNA) Child Protection Resources:
http://www.anglicandoma.org/pocpolicyPedophiles in the Church
Pedophiles in the Church by Rev. Uri Brito (CREC):
Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth-serving Organizations (SBC):