Guide

Monica Brands

About Me: 

I recently completed a Master of Theological Studies in Church History and Calvin Seminary. I enjoy exploring the potential for healthy theology to transform the life of the church, especially in connection with issues related to gender, mental health, and abuse. 

Interests: 
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You Are Safe Here

Participating in Assault Awareness Month is not nearly as difficult or uncomfortable as many assume. How will your church make survivors feel safe this month?

Safe Church
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Supporting New Beginnings

A truly safe church environment is one where the congregation is aware of the many ways in which abuse is normalized in both secular and Christian cultures and is prepared to help survivors.  

Safe Church
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Choose the Harder Path

When we are confronted with an allegation of abuse, there are always two paths we can take, two stories we can choose from. And one story will always be easier to believe.

Safe Church
  • I think Bonnie's voiced all of the suggestions that come to mind for me too - I really like the idea of cameras if it is important for the internship to take place in the church building. If it...

  • That's a helpful, comment, Eric - exactly. The goal is creating healthy spaces and boundaries that work equally well with both genders. 

  • Thanks for this comment, Bonnie. You worded so beautifully exactly what I was trying to say. 

  • Thanks, Mark - I actually agree with you that Mike Pence was treated unfairly in the coverage of his adherence to this rule. I too applaud his desire to protect his marriage honorably, and think...

  • Thanks for your comment - as I mentioned in the article, I think the intentions behind following something similar to the Billy Graham rule are honorable and good, and far better than a lack of...

  • Thanks, Henry. Your comments point to how important it is for churches to have a clear policy in place for handling allegations of harassment or abuse, to avoid conclusions being drawn based only...

  • So glad you're working with Safe Church, Eric! And this: "I believe God is continuing to raise up leaders in the church to be shepherds — specifically to protect the flock" -- absolutely love this...

  • Thanks Bonnie, that's really helpful and an important clarification. I wasn't aware that restorative justice was a part of the CRC's recommended process, and definitely was not intending to cast a...

  • Wow, thanks Doug. Such insightful comments. I agree completely with your concerns about restorative justice. It seems similar to forgiveness in that it can be powerful and freeing if the situation...

  • Thanks, Michelle ,  Yes, that's an equally important fact for people to know -- that leaving is the highest period of risk. It takes a lot of courage and support to leave an abusive relationship...