The recent release of the Guidepost Solutions report investigating the Southern Baptist Convention’s response to sexual abuse allegations returns child abuse and sexual assault to the forefront of public scrutiny. Clearly, child sexual abuse awareness and prevention should remain a priority – for the protection of children in ministry programs, and for ongoing care and healing of abuse survivors. Here at MinistrySafe, sexual abuse awareness and prevention never cease to be mission critical. For three decades, we’ve worked with churches of all denominations to protect children, raise awareness and educate ministry staff members and volunteers.
At MinistrySafe, we are committed to protecting children in ministry programs and supporting abuse survivors who risk significant exposure and public scrutiny by speaking out. Correct allegation response is more likely to occur with an accurate understanding of sexual abuse, sexual abusers, recidivism and the abuser’s grooming process. False allegations are rare. When ministry leaders better understand this truth, abuse survivors receive better care and support.
The Guidepost Solutions report outlines recommendations related to child protection. What we know from decades of experience addressing child sexual abuse risk is that prevention starts with effective training. This is NOT an intuitive risk. Prevention requires a SYSTEM of preventative elements, including effective training and screening, tailored policies, criminal background checks and appropriate monitoring, supervision and oversight.
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