Synod has encouraged each classis to have a Safe Church team made up of representatives from each church. The team is a resource to churches, can support local churches in creating safety at the congregational level and empowers churches to be a support to individuals affected by abuse.
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“Dating violence refers to a pattern of actual or threatened acts of physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse perpetrated by an adolescent against a current or former dating partner.”
"Part of the work is ensuring that boundaries are established and maintained, the harm of sexual abuse is understood, and healthy relationships are actively talked about. Each of these is essential to prevention.”
Dove's Nest has created resources to help churches focus on the role they can play in child abuse prevention.
"Often, ministers want to resolve such matters internally through counseling with the victim or the alleged offender, without contacting civil authorities.” Richard R. Hammar goes on to explain that “such a response can have serious legal consequences.”
“Too often, intervention occurs only after abuse is reported. Greater investments are needed in programs that have proven to stop abuse before it occurs – such as family counseling and mandatory parenting education.” - Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies
How much do you know about stalking? Take this interactive quiz.
“Since only .001 percent of all deaths occur in church, we can easily be lulled into thinking that such things could never happen to us. And yet the sad truth is, such things can and do happen to us. Churches are particularly vulnerable.” - Michael Jackson with the Enrichment Journal.
It is important to balance safety and risk with the rights and autonomy of individuals living with disabilities. This can be challenging and confusing, especially for caregivers, but it is important that the right balance be struck.
What do you think churches should do to provide a safer environment for individuals with disabilities?
In the pictures, people look happy, hiding the fact that many are forced, manipulated or threatened to produce them. Children are exposed to graphic images as they do their homework. Marriages, relationships, and individuals are harmed by its use. Yet we don’t talk about it. Internet pornography doesn’t belong in Christian community
Unfortunately, it is in the context of close interpersonal relationships that persons with intellectual disabilities are often abused. Because of these potential risks, Friendship Ministries has developed model guidelines for churches to follow in preventing abuse.