Child sexual abuse is predictable and preventable when we surround children with knowledgeable and outspoken adults and we all play a part in the solution.
Predict: is to declare or indicate in advance; especially to foretell on the basis of observation, experience, or scientific reason.(1)
There are over 39 million survivors of child sexual abuse in America.(2)
From them experts have documented time after time, behavior patterns that appear BEFORE abuse occurs. So, with the right training, we can recognize when children are in danger and put best practices in place to directly reduce the risk of abuse in our homes, neighborhoods and youth-serving organizations. Faith organizations play a crucial role in educating their local community members.
Personal Starting Point
Each of us has a set of past experiences that impact how we feel about the topic of child sexual abuse. Some people know someone who was abused or they may have been abused themselves. Others may struggle with an attraction to children or the thought of sexualizing a child simply destroys their sense of a safe world. These are experiences and feelings that could create a lot of discomfort.
Best Practice #2 is focused on who has access to children. In Best Practice #3 you'll see our focus change to establishing boundaries relating to the behavior of those who have been granted access.
Faith Organizations: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Best Practice #3 - Set, Document and Enforce Boundaries
Written boundaries are at the heart of protecting children. Without them, every day is filled with a myriad of subjective choices that are far too often hindered by our emotions, opinions, relationships, and quest for personal gain (acceptance, security, promotion, raise, etc.). When boundaries are established and documented in writing, they provide a mechanism for objective decision making that applies to everyone who comes in contact with children in your care. No exceptions!
More Articles ...
- Faith Organizations: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Best Practice #4 - Regularly and Actively Assess Behaviors
- Faith Organizations: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Best Practice #5 - Create an Accountability Team
- Faith Organizations: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Best Practice #6 - Educate and Empower Children
- Faith Organizations: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Best Practice #7 - Pre-Establish Your Response and Take Bold Action