A Toolkit for Abuse Prevention Month

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In recognition of this month's focus on the prevention of child abuse, Dove's Nest is pleased to offer a free kit of materials for your use throughout the month. The kit includes:

  • a press release with information about Child Abuse Prevention Month and the resource kit. Help us get the word out! Please feel free to forward the press release and/or website page to anyone in your circle of contacts who you feel would benefit from the information, including local media.
  • a bulletin insert, including a sample prayer and information about child and youth protection policies
  • a children's story for use during worship or Sunday School.
  • a PowerPoint file designed for use on your congregation's projection system prior to the morning service, or whenever you deem best
  • a list of helpful Internet resources related to child and youth protection

To access this helpful kit, visit Dove's Nest.

Bold Leadership Needed
Regarding this month's focus on prevention of child abuse, director of Safe Church Ministry for the Christian Reformed Church, Bonnie Nicholas, wrote:

"Imagine children growing up free to thrive in a world without harm. The only way to move toward that vision is an intentional focus on preventing child sexual abuse. It’s not up to the children. It’s up to us, as adults in the community, to take responsibility for prevention. It requires bold leadership, leaders who are not afraid to talk about the issue and bring it out into the open. Leaders who make every effort to promote policies and practices that protect the children in our care."

Bonnie notes that tackling prevention of abuse is bigger than any one person or organization. She explains, "We need to come to terms with the fact that one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. And many of them are members in our churches. Taking on this issue will require a broad base of support in our communities and churches. Safe church team members alone will not be enough, we need to engage our churches, classes, and all levels in the denomination. It takes all of us to make a church truly safe. Naming the issue and treating the symptoms – that’s good. But prevention, stopping it before it ever happens, is better by far."

Where Can You Learn More
More information can be found at forwomen.org. Another excellent resource for preventing child abuse in a youth serving organization (like our churches) can be found on the following government website Preventing Child Abuse.

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Part of a toolkit for prevention is paying attention to what we teach our children about themselves, about their relationship with the Lord, and how that affects their relationships with one another. With just a few lessons each year, for each grade level - K-12, the Circle of Grace program helps children and youth understand God's presence with them always, the sacred nature of all relationships, and how to talk to a trusted adult when something doesn't feel right. More information can be found on the Safe Church website www.crcna.org/safechurch - click on the left side bar, "Education is the Best Prevention."