Does your Church have a Sexual Abuse Policy? : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

We at St Paul, Cambridge have just put the finishing touches to a Sexual Abuse Policy. We in the Boston area feel that we in in the epicenter of this problem. It may be that it surfaced in the Catholic Church but all churchs are vulnerable. We are not immune. We have many children in our care, an Elementary School, a Children's Choir, Angels Without Wings (100 + children), and Church School. The Policy protects the children and the church itself. It should be publicly posted so the congregation is aware of what it is. Of course all officers should be knowledgeable. The size of the church doe not matter. All churches should have a written policy. Our children are precious and we are charged with their care. God Bless Bro Bob

-- Anonymous, July 19, 2003


Brother Bob, I am happy to hear that your church worked hard to come up with a policy. A year and a half ago a former member wanted her male friend to work with our youth program. I knew the gentleman for he worked at the nursing home where I am a chaplain. I never had a good feeling about him. It was just a gut feeling. I prayed about it and decided to call our county attorney who is a good friend of mine and a trustee at his church. Good thing I called because I found out this person was a pedophile and had spent time in jail and was on probation. He was not even suppose to be near children.

I told him I had found out his history, I was also told by the county attorney and the police to be careful for he is dangerous. He said he wanted to remain at our church. I did not feel comfortable with him, and suggested he attend a church with a male pastor and a strong men's support group. He left. His friend said that he had revealed to her that he liked me and wanted to date me, that was the only reason he wanted to stay. The moral of the story: check out the backgrounds of those who want to work with children, especially if they are new. And trust your gut, it probably is the holy spirit. I am very, very fortunate for I have a wonderful, protective ministerial staff that give me tremendous support.

Again thank you bro. bob for bringing up this topic and providing concrete ways to handle potential sexual abuse.

Also in most states there is a registry that is online with the names of sex offenders and you can contact your local police and ask if a person's name is on the list. They will be happy to help.

-- Anonymous, July 19, 2003

Well, well, I am once again sad to say in our great church there is no policy enforced, any thing goes in our church. There is no type of screening with this present administration. I have a copy of the policy Sexual Abuse Policy that was handed out at the General Conference 2000. I am praying that the Bishops of the church see the need for mandatory training fo Pastors, Ministers, Officers and anyone working with the youth be trained in this area. Since Anita Hill it's been a very senative area and some pastors take it as a joke. The minute one of our children has ben toucched or molested we are ready to crusify the person. Nip it in the bud give these leaders some sort of training and perhaps stop patting them on the back of the hand and get tehm som serious counseling ans perhaps take them out of the pulpit. This is not the youth being abusedsome of our seniors as well. God help us and our leaders.

-- Anonymous, July 22, 2003

Sister Hardaway Watkins Thank you for your response. After I had posted this question, Brother Robert Matthews was kind enough to refer me to page 327 of the Discipline, Charge #10 Sexual Miscoduct. In that item is the reference to the AME Manual on Sexual Misconduct, which is available through the AME Publishing House. I assume that that is the document that you received at the last General Conference. I am sending for it. This Board is truely a Blessing. There have been many issues discussed here and issues addressed here. That is why I felt comfortable posting this one. It is too important an issue to leave on the back burner. Also that is the reason I asked if individual churches had a policy. Working on such a document heightens awareness of the potential dangers and gives momentum to addressing them, protecting our children AND the church. We can no longer assume that everything is OKay. Churches have to be proactive now. So I hope the readers on this Board check out their own situation and take appropriate action.

God Bless Bro Bob

-- Anonymous, July 22, 2003

I am curious, does your policy ask the potential volunteer if he/she were a victime of sexual abuse?

-- Anonymous, August 10, 2003

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