Counsel the Word
Protecting Children: Equipping Churches to Prevent & Respond to Sexual Abuse
The world can be a harsh place, and those who have experienced child sexual abuse often don’t know how to effectively address its aftermath. Sexual abuse affects children in a profound and ongoing manner—their perspective of the world, themselves, and God Himself. Those providing care for sexual abuse survivors must understand the offender’s ‘grooming process’: how abusers gain access to the children they target, prepare them for sexual interaction, and keep them silent. With a comprehensive understanding of the offender’s grooming process, care providers are better equipped both to minister to abuse victims (and their parents), and to implement effective preventative measures.
Whether sexual abuse occurred within ministry contexts or an allegation originates from ‘outside,’ child sexual abuse affects every ministry. At the same time, the God of Scripture provides refuge, strength and power to reshape and heal all human experience.
The goal of this conference is to help pastors, counselors, and church leaders implement an appropriate model of care for child sexual abuse survivors, including adult survivors of past sexual abuse. Conference attendees will leave understanding (1) the ‘grooming process’ of the preferential offender, (2) a model of care for child sexual abuse survivors, and (3) preventative protocols tailored to ministry contexts.
Jeremy Pierre, Gregory Love, Kimberlee Norris, Robert Jones, Deepak Reju, and Julie Lowe.