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Preventing Sexual Abuse in the Church

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Caring for victims of sexual abuse is crucial. But what if it didn’t need to come to that? What if we were exercising better preventative care in our churches?

In this roundtable video, Trillia Newbell, Scotty Smith, and Justin Holcomb discuss how churches can more intentionally and effectively preempt abuse.

Education is essential, Newbell suggests, since most people just don’t realize the statistics. When child abuse happens, therefore, they’re utterly shocked. Moreover, it’s vital to equip members with a biblical view of sexuality. “Sometimes the best defense is a good offense,” Smith says, “and teaching about the God who designed our delights will help us to be proactive rather than reactive.”

Instituting clear policies and procedures is a powerful way of saying We don’t put up with this here, adds Holcomb, co-author of Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault (Crossway, 2011). “Far from being anti-grace, policies are actually the enactment of grace for our children.”

Watch the full seven-minute video to hear the participants consider the role of the pulpit, inter-church collaboration, and more.