Abuse is a serious issue, and there are many ways that we can respond to it. As leaders and members of the church, we need to be prepared for this reality.
We all know that physical, sexual, and emotional abuse occurs regularly, and the church is not immune to this sin. Most of us don’t know how to handle it when it happens, and many churches aren’t equipped with policies or resources to deal with this kind of abuse.
The Pathways initiative seeks to help churches protect the vulnerable, prevent sexual abuse, and encourage churches to be prepared if and when it does happen within their church. The initiative will continue to grow and develop over time. Our goal is that 100% of BCM/D-affiliated churches be on a clear pathway to protection and prevention.
We realize that the process can feel overwhelming, so our team is constantly working on gathering resources to assist you in creating and maintaining safe ministry environments.
Our desire is that your church will attend to and address the following five characteristics of a safe church:
TRAIN – Provide initial and ongoing training for staff, volunteers, and church members that raises awareness and shares effective actions to prevent incidents of abuse in the church.
SCREEN – Ensure a thorough vetting process for all those working with children, youth, and vulnerable adults. Screening should include interviews, references, and background checks.
PROTECT – Create and administer behavioral policies that protect children, youth, and vulnerable adults from grooming, and abuse.
REPORT – Have a written plan in place to communicate with both the church and local law enforcement in the event of an abuse allegation.
CARE – Identify resources and develop a plan of care for those affected by trauma.
This page features numerous resources for your church. If you cannot find what you’re looking for, have a question not addressed here, or would like to request training for your church, please contact a member of our Sexual Abuse Task Force.