Telios In the News - Church abuse: Blame optimistic ignorance?

Theresa Sidebotham was published in the Christian Post where she discusses the perennial problem of abuse and the solution: creating a capable guardian.

How could the environment within churches allow abuse? Optimistic ignorance is one reason. Religious leaders are often held in such high regard that their actions go unquestioned. Loyalties to individuals can create complicated responses when there are allegations. Sometimes, the hierarchical structure of an organization creates a shield of protection around perpetrators, making it difficult for allegations to be taken seriously. Some ministries will guard their reputation at all costs. All of these systemic factors can allow abuse to continue unchecked.

Put differently, for sexual or other abuse to happen, three factors must be present: a person vulnerable in some way, someone who wants to commit harm, and an environment that fails to be a capable guardian of the vulnerable. How can a ministry become that capable guardian?

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