Protecting Children

Sexual harassment and abuse create tragic stories for individuals and organizations. How do we prevent abusive or harassing behavior by basic best practices?

This article was published in the 2014 Evangelical Missionary Society's annual publication number 22 called The Missionary Family: Witness, Concerns, Care.

Link to a pdf file of the article.

Physically abusing children in intimate ways is an endemic evil that destroys lives. Religious organizations must devote time, energy, and money to prevent, stop, and heal abuse whenever it is found. This paper examines the current landscape of this kind of abuse, then it addresses prevention and wise approaches to investigations. 

I 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. 

For 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.