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Passing on the Pastor: Sexual Abuse and Public Statements About Ministerial Qualifications

passing the pastorIf a religious organization believes that a minister or other employee has engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior, what responsibility does it have to notify others? How does child sexual abuse change the rules for normal termination procedure? Those who become victims of that person insist it is the organization’s duty to share that information. Employees who have been terminated for such behavior say sharing such information is a breach of confidence amounting to defamation. 

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Goals of Therapy Versus Goals of Investigation

Therapeutic processes and legal processes are different. Certain things are appropriate in the therapeutic process that are not acceptable in a legal process. Absolute factual accuracy is not the primary goal of therapy. In the world of an investigation, with livelihood and organizational survival on the line, impartial factual accuracy is very important.  

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“Easy” Ways to Inoculate Your Child Against Abuse

child protectionI am always amazed at how easy these management issues become once an organization (or family) implements them. I got to thinking about some of the ways a parent can act and relate that can help prepare their child to not be abused. I think of four behaviors right away: 1) On the radar, 2) Chatter, 3) Buddy, and 4) Touch. 

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Factors in Preventing Child Sexual Abuse

factors for child protectionFor abuse to happen, three factors must be present. First, there must be a perpetrator who desires to abuse. Second, there must be a child who will take the role of a victim. Third, there must be an environment that provides enough privacy for the perpetrator to act. If prevention and training can stop any one of the three factors necessary for child sexual abuse, the abuse will not happen.

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More About Childhood Trauma from Child Sexual Abuse

childrenThe evil of child sexual abuse is not defined by the immediate reactions of the child. Even if the child does not immediately experience it as negative, intervention and healing is needed. We cannot defy our biology, which shows that our brains do not mature until late in adolescence, and we need mature brains to make reasoned choices from the options we are given. 

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Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse Allegations

child protection on the mission fieldWe’ve learned a lot from the Catholic sexual abuse scandal about good practices on preventing child abuse and investigating allegations. We’ve also learned a lot about how sexual abuse litigation works. You might say litigation is the worst case scenario for the organization when child protection issues haven't been adequately addressed. 

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