Sexual Abuse

12,000 Boy Scouts members were victims of sexual abuse from thousands of leaders, expert says

"More than 12,000 Boy Scout members have been victims of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of 7,819 allegedly sexually abusive troop leaders and volunteers, according to an analysis of long-held records in the organization known as the 'perversion files.'” - Christian Post

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“the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.”

"There’s currently a bill in Rhode Island that seeks to make it illegal for school employees to have sex with students.The state teachers’ unions and the ACLU have decided to oppose it." - Bullwark

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Resources for Better Understanding, Preventing and Responding to Sexual Abuse

The links and phone numbers below are a sample of what’s available for better understanding, preventing, and responding to sexual abuse in a church setting. The intent is to help individuals who may not be good at googling get a head start on their research.

Disclaimer: Though most of these are well-recognized sources of information, the resources here are gathered, not necessarily recommended. If you’re aware of additional or better resources, do please let us know in the comments (or, if you’re too shy, the contact form).

National Get-Help Hotlines for Victims

Sample Local Resources for Helping Victims (Wisconsin)

Resources similar to these are probably available in your city, county, or state.

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What Should Independent Churches Do in Response to the Sexual Abuse Problem?

Over the last several years we’ve seen steadily-increasing attention to the problem of sexual abuse in independent Baptist (or baptistic) churches and ministries. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram investigation into independent fundamental Baptist churches last December was big news. The Houston Chronicle series on Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) churches two weeks ago was huge.

Given that the problem can no longer be ignored, how should independent churches respond?

1. They should not cease to be independent.

Independent churches are free of denominational control for a reason, and it isn’t because they want to get away with poor ethics or because they see no value in connecting with other churches and ministries. At some point in time—though possibly long, long ago—each of these congregations examined the Scriptures and came to the conclusion that they must retain the power to govern their own affairs and control their own relationships with other entities. I’ve written previously on why churches believe the New Testament requires this kind of autonomy.

Agree or disagree, this is not a matter for casual dismissal or vague disparaging of churches’ motives. It’s a matter of conscience and conviction.

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What Clergy Need to Know About Mandatory Reporting

"Currently, clergy are considered mandatory reporters in about half of all states. But even those laws vary because of the unique nature of pastoral care. Some states that include clergy as mandatory reporters exempt pastors from that requirement if abuse is disclosed or discovered during 'pastorally privileged conversations.'” - Church Leaders

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SBC head suggests expelling churches, creating registry to address sexual abuse

"In an address to the SBC's executive committee on Monday in Nashville, Tennessee, Greear proposed a range of reforms to help make churches safer. The 10 'calls to action' include repenting, providing free training for ministry leaders, encouraging churches to review and strengthen their policies on abuse and a re-examination of the ordination process." - Christian Post

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