Abuse Prevention and Response Guide

 

“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them-not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:2-3

 

Sexual abuse is widespread and permeates every aspect of our society. The CDC estimates that one out of three women and one out of four men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact. While these statistics may seem staggering, they only begin to tell the story. Actual incidences of sexual abuse far exceed the number of reported incidences because most survivors never report their abuse. And out of every 1000 incidents of sexual abuse, only 25 abusers ever face incarceration. 

Churches are not immune to these statistics. But our church leadership is often overwhelmed by the scope of the problem and unsure how to implement best practices surrounding abuse prevention, abuse response, and survivor care. How can you develop policies to better protect your most vulnerable members? How can you screen and train your employees and volunteers to improve the safety and security of your ministries? What do you do when someone discloses abuse to your church leadership? How can church leaders shepherd victims through the devastation of abuse?

While the answers to these questions are complex, this guide is designed to provide general principles that can be a starting point for church leaders who are working to implement effective abuse prevention and response policies and practices.

PLEASE CONTACT OKLAHOMA BAPTISTS AT 1-495-516-4825 FOR ASSISTANCE RELATED TO ABUSE PREVENTION, ABUSE RESPONSE, OR SURVIVOR CARE.

Abuse Prevention and Response Guide

NOTE: The information contained in this guide is general in nature and is not intended to provide legal advice. Oklahoma Baptists encourages each church to consult with legal counsel when implementing local policies and practices.