Reporting abuse — the church’s blind spot

Church Executive

May 28, 2020

By Gregory Love & Kimberlee Norris

When in doubt, REPORT.

If every allegation of child sexual abuse was simply reported by church leaders to appropriate authorities, the resulting positive impact would be immeasurable.

Survivors of abuse would feel validated — by itself a significant positive outcome — pathways to healing would open, future victims would be spared and abusers would be revealed. Criminal behavior would be investigated and prosecuted, and elements of real accountability put in place. When ministry leaders simply report suspicions and allegations of sexual abuse, the church is perceived as a sanctuary where God’s love and justice are demonstrated.

Why is reporting such a stumbling block for the church? Why is it so difficult?

Answer: ministry leaders must gain understanding and take action.

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