I attended this conference last week, and it was chalked full of insightful, helpful and life giving information. It left me feeling incredibly hopeful for the future in and out of the church. Here is my personal highlight reel on this two day conference. Here is the live stream
Powerful quotes from Valued
“ Your son has a much higher chance of being sexually assaulted than he does of being falsely accused of sexual assault. A much, much higher chance.”
“Justice is always done. It either falls on the abuser or, if he repents, it falls on the Redeemer. But Justice is always done because evil is real and it matters to God, and it should matter to us.”
“The grace of God is not proven by the foolishness of allowing perpetrators to serve in places where they can abuse again.”
“I have never had to tell a Christian abuse survivor ‘you need to start thinking about forgiveness.’ Why on earth would I cut down a wounded person like that?”
“You are not guilty for the sin and crime done to you.”
“I’m tired of abusive Christian leaders getting away with abuse for years because of the ‘great things they’ve done for God.’ Enough!
“Anger is not a sin. It’s actually a really good response to being sinned against…Justice and holiness is who God is…God is angrier than you are.”
“For more than a decade, with the exception of last year…the number one reason that churches are found liable in the federal court system is for sexual assault on church property.”
“It’s proper to use the word trauma for sexual abuse. Sexual abuse survivors are second only to war vets in suffering from PTSD.”
Things Parents and Caregivers can do to Protect Children.
- 1 in 5 children will be sexualy assaulted before 18.
- Most children know their attacker.
- 34% are family members.
- 59% are acquaintances.
- 7% are strangers.
- 40% of children who are sexually abused are abused by older, or more powerful children.
9 helpful tips to teach children.
- Explain to your child that God made their body. God made them and called them very good. Their body has integrity.
- Teach proper names for private parts.
- Inviting Communication on this subject
- Teaching about touch. Inappropriate and appropriate.
- Don’t ask a child to maintain emotions.
- Throw out the word secret and replace it with surprise.
- Clarify rules for playing doctor. Use stuffed animals or broken toys not people. Your body is not a game.
- Identify who to trust.
- Report suspected abuse immediately. Don’t investigate.
A helpful book
Preventing with Excellence
Churches should have policies and procedures that will protect children, along with providing child-protection training to all its members. At minimum, these policies should address such basic issues such as the following.
- Background screenings for all church workers and volunteers; this must not be limited to simply a criminal background check.
- Parameters related to adult-child on and off church property, including physical contact, in-person interactions, electronic communications, and privacy issues.
- Similar type of parameters related to child-on-child contact.
Offer personal safety classes to children and youth. Such classes should
- Teach younger children the parts of their body covered by a bathing suit are not to be touched by an adult.
- Teach older youth ways to guard against becoming too “attached” to a non-parental adult, including, but not limited to, being alone with adults.
- Educate older youth about how sexual offenders think and act.
- Instruct children of all ages what to do if they are inappropriately touched or simply uncomfortable around a certain adult or peer.
- Explain to all youth the difference between sinning and being the victim of sin.
- Identify and make available qualified resources for youth who have been abused.
Responding with Excellence
- Rejecting the culture of rebuke and silence.
- Being prepared to respond. Develop a policy that provides a specific protocol for the way the institution will address abuse disclosures.
- Make sure that the allegations have been reported to law enforcement.
- Make sure that the child does not have contact with the alleged perpetrator while on church property or at church events.
Resources on safeguarding your church
- Safeguarding certification through netgrace.org