Frequently Asked Questions
Who are Gregory Love and Kimberlee Norris?
We are civil trial attorneys with more than 60 years combined experience addressing child sexual abuse issues. We both serve in ministry leadership, having volunteered for more than 27 years in Student Ministry at our home church.
An independent filmmaker – intrigued by our work – created a two-episode biopic about the two of us and the work of MinistrySafe, released in November of 2021. The biopic was created completely independent of us: we had no financial participation or control over content or scripting. See In Plain Sight.
Love & Norris: the Law Firm
One element of our work is our law practice. We lead a nationwide litigation practice representing victims of child sexual abuse throughout the United States.
In addition, we provide consultation to ministry and secular organizations such as churches, non-profits (adoption and foster care), private schools, camps, churches and para-church ministries. We assist these entities in the review, design and implementation of child protection systems which reduce the risk of child sexual abuse. Representative consultation clients include the United States Olympic Committee, Awana International, Church of the Nazarene Global Ministries and Philadelphia Insurance Companies.
MinistrySafe/Abuse Prevention Systems
In addition to an active law practice, we are co-founders and directors of MinistrySafe and Abuse Prevention Systems, entities dedicated to sexual abuse awareness and prevention. MinistrySafe and Abuse Prevention Systems (APS) provide comprehensive Training, screening forms, Background Checks and policies supporting Safety Systems that reduce the risk of child sexual abuse. MinistrySafe and APS provide these resources in a ‘self-help’ context: no legal counsel or investigative work occurs through MinistrySafe or APS.
MinistrySafe provides curriculum and training resources to seminaries across the country, including Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS), Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS), Midwestern Theological Seminary (MBTS), Gateway Seminary, Rockbridge Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS), Denver Seminary, Liberty School of Divinity and Bob Jones Seminary. We serve as Visiting Faculty at Dallas Theological Seminary where we teach the only 3-hour graduate level course currently in existence limited to child sexual abuse risk: Preventing Sexual Abuse in Ministry Contexts.
CBN Interview of Dr. Mark Bailey, DTS Chancellor
DTS Students Equipped to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse through MinistrySafe (DTS Magazine 2016)
Dallas Seminary requires sex abuse awareness training (Religion News Service 2016
Dallas Seminary first in U.S. to make child sex abuse course a must for would-be clergy (Dallas News 2016)
Texas Seminary First in Nation to Require Students to Complete Sexual Abuse Awareness Training (Christian Post 2016)
Why These Seminary Students are Learning About Sexual Abuse (Charisma News 2016)
Training Pastors to Deal with Child Sexual Abuse (KERA News 2016)
MinistrySafe is endorsed by Philadelphia Insurance Companies, GuideOne Insurance, Church Mutual Insurance, the Christian Camp and Conference Association and the American Camp Association. MinistrySafe’s Sexual Abuse Awareness Training is approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Departments of Insurance for Texas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington. MinistrySafe’s Sexual Abuse Awareness Training is an approved CEU for the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).
Both Love and Norris speak frequently at national and regional conferences for organizations such as The Church Network, National Council for Adoption (NCFA), Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA), American Camp Association (ACA), Presbyterian General Assembly (PCA), Youth Ministry Institute (YMI), Society for Classical Learning (SCL), USA Track & Field, US Youth Soccer, Young Life and Hawaiian Islands Ministries.
In the course of our law practice, we’ve represented over 200 victims of child sexual abuse in civil litigation. Through MinistrySafe, we’ve trained over 2 million ministry staff members and volunteers.
Our work is, and has always been, Victim-Centric in its orientation and application.
This orientation is expressed in published materials dating as early as 2008, published by Christianity Today, and subsequently expressed in Church Executive Magazine, Baptist Press, LifeWay’s Deacon Magazine, SBC Voices, XPastor, Arkansas Baptist News, The Christian Index, and other published writings.
Writings specifically advocating for a victim-centered perspective include:
Reporting v. Reputation – The Dangers of Prioritizing Reputation (Church Executive 2022)
Reporting Abuse – The Church’s Blindspot (Church Executive 2020)
Responding to an Allegation – How to Navigate a Sexual Abuse Crisis (Church Executive 2020)
Shifting the Injustice – An Unfortunate ‘NO’ Vote to S.534 (2018)
How Your Ministry Can Help Prevent Child Abuse Through a Safety System (ERLC 2018)
Sexual Abuse in the Church – Is It Ever Too Late to Call the Police (LifeWay 2018)
What Your Church Should Know About Child Sexual Abuse (Faith Talk 970 - Atlanta 2017)
Lessons from the Ditch – What to DO and NOT DO in Response to an Abuse Allegation (2015)
Sexual Abuse Issues in the Church; Raising the Bar (Christianity Today 2008)
This victim-centric approach informs the curriculum of MinistrySafe Institute (MSI), currently utilized by Dallas Theological Seminary, Liberty School of Divinity, Dallas Baptist University, and others. Specific subject matters within MSI curriculum include responding appropriately to an allegation of sexual abuse and creating a model of care for abuse survivors.
Preview: MinistrySafe Institute.
Request full access to MinistrySafe Institute: Questions@MinistrySafe.com.
A recent LiveStream Training was delivered to an audience of child-serving staff members highlighting the perils of prioritizing an organization’s image or brand over an abuse survivor or allegation: Lessons From The Ditch Collection.
Services Provided (and those Not Provided)
We (Gregory Love and Kimberlee Norris) are sexual abuse attorneys and subject matter experts. We are standard of care experts working to equip child-serving ministries to PREVENT and REPORT child sexual abuse. Our legal work with victims is characterized by compassion and sensitivity, but neither of us are licensed professional counselors equipped to provide ongoing counseling care or therapeutic milieu.
Legal Representation Provided by Love & Norris
Together, we have 60+ years of civil trial experience litigating child sexual abuse cases. Since 1991, we’ve litigated child sexual abuse cases on behalf of victims. We have never represented a defendant in litigation alleging sexual abuse. We use this same skill set and standard of care expertise to create preventative resources offered through MinistrySafe.
Legal Work NOT Provided by Love & Norris
We have never represented a defendant – directly or indirectly – in litigation brought by a sexual abuse victim. Similarly, we have never represented a sexual abuser in any context.
We have never served as insurance defense or insurance-appointed counsel in a sexual abuse lawsuit representing a defendant. Our law firm does not, has not and will not serve as litigation defense counsel for any organization, church, denomination or insurance carrier. Notwithstanding periodic requests, neither of us have ever served as a testifying expert on behalf of an organization sued for child sexual abuse.
To reiterate: we have never represented a defendant (individual or organization) in a lawsuit brought by a child sexual abuse victim.
The legal advice and guidance provided by our firm to child-serving organizations is always victim-centered and painstakingly consistent with relevant local, state and federal law. We decline to provide counsel to any organization seeking to avoid reporting requirements or engage in ‘cover up’ in any form.
We freely acknowledge that litigation is a great motivator, it’s simply not OUR work in this realm, although we regularly refer individuals to competent legal counsel. Instead, our role is to equip ministries with effective preventative measures.
In our litigation practice, we have represented over 200 victims of child sexual abuse in litigation against religious cults.
See Statements from sexual abuse survivors describing their experience with MinistrySafe or Love & Norris.
Interested in facts or clarification? Contact us at Questions@MinistrySafe.com or 817-732-7100.
Negative opinions about child sexual abuse are frequently expressed without precision, in part because many abuse survivors are angry at how a church or ministry has responded. In many contexts, the anger and frustration are warranted: the Church tends to be left behind current standards of care related to sexual abuse prevention, reporting, and response.
Failure to Prevent Abuse
When a child is sexually abused in a ministry setting by a staff member or volunteer, the ministry has failed to provide a safe environment for the victimized child. If the ministry failed to adequately train, screen or supervise the abuser or surrounding staff members, the ministry is at fault, both legally and morally.
Failure to Respond Well
When a child (or adult) communicates an allegation of sexual abuse to ministry leaders and isn’t believed and supported – whether the allegation relates to behavior INSIDE or OUTSIDE the ministry (i.e. from the child’s ‘core world’), the ministry has failed.
This lapse commonly includes failure to report to relevant law enforcement or child protection agencies. In some cases, ministries have failed to take steps to remove the abuser, or notify the abuser’s subsequent ministry employer(s). In these types of failures, ministry leaders have acted to prioritize the abuser or the organization, rather than the interests and well-being of the victim or other children who may be victimized by the same abuser in future.
Every ministry must proactively PREVENT sexual abuse and properly RESPOND to allegations or suspicions of abuse. In many cases, both failures may be avoided if the underlying abuse is prevented at the outset.
Services Provided by MinistrySafe
The primary mission of MinistrySafe is prevention of child sexual abuse. MinistrySafe provides comprehensive Training, screening forms, policies, and an online system of prevention.
Learn more about MinistrySafe.
Services NOT Provided by MinistrySafe
MinistrySafe provides Training and resources related to abuse reporting and allegation response, but does NOT provide legal counsel. When a legal consult is requested, the individual or entity is directed to the law firm. All Training and resources related to abuse reporting and allegation response are specifically and intentionally victim-centered, an approach dating back to the inception of MinistrySafe.
Access MinistrySafe’s video tutorial: Sexual Abuse Reporting.
Given that MinistrySafe has worked with faith-based and secular entities for decades, it’s valuable to ask: what do ministry leaders think?
Access Ministry Leader Feedback.
Kimberlee Norris oversees Third Party Investigations provided by the law firm of Love & Norris. She has addressed child sexual abuse issues for 31 years of law practice, providing legal counsel to secular and ministry child-serving organizations for decades. Beginning in 2012, the firm began providing Third Party Investigations of sexual abuse allegations, primarily in ministry settings.
Norris brought to these investigations the same litigation prep skills necessary in actual litigation: find and validate any evidence of wrongdoing.
In the course of our third-party investigations, we’ve made the following recommendations to ministry leaders, without exception:·
- BELIEVE the victims: FALSE ALLEGATIONS ARE RARE.
- FIRE the bad actor.
- REPORT criminal behavior to law enforcement, regardless of the passage of time.
- Offer counseling with a licensed professional counselor of the victim’s choice, at the ministry’s expense.
- Admit bad behavior where it has occurred, and apologize to those harmed by it.
- Communicate the outcome of the investigation to the victims themselves, as well as the congregation or ministry stakeholders.
- Create accountability and supervision for future behavior of staff members or volunteers, so this doesn’t happen again.
- Put preventative protocols in place: train, screen and supervise your staff members and volunteers.
In every investigation to date, these recommendations have been received and implemented.
We have never undertaken a Third Party Investigation which failed to reveal bad acts or support abuse survivors. In fact, following one investigation, the bad actor sued the church and referenced Norris’ investigation as inappropriately victim-centric in legal filings.
Report submitted to authorities by Kimberlee Norris in the aforementioned investigation.
USA TODAY article regarding the investigation.
In every investigation, we’ve communicated a victim-centered perspective to leaders, treating every victim with respect and dignity.
Interested in facts or clarification?
Contact Kimberlee Norris at email@example.com or 817-732-7100
The founders of MinistrySafe answer common questions
about the founding and mission of MinistrySafe.