Child Abuse and the Church: A Call for Prevention, Treatment, and Training

Volume 40
Winter 2012
Child Abuse and the Church: A Call for Prevention, Treatment, and Training

Child abuse is both a sin and a crime. In this article, we present a call to the global Christian church to prevent and treat child abuse, and to train professionals across disciplines to do so. Vieth discusses effective child protection policies in churches. Among other recommendations, he encourages consultation with child protection experts, thorough screening of child workers, and accountable supervision of children in church. Tchvidjian examines cultural aspects of missions organizations that contribute to the abuse of children in the mission field. He suggests that
missions organizations who have failed to protect abused children in the past placed their reputation above child protection, failed to treasure children, and believed in God-sanctioned power and control of missions workers. Knodel reviews the efforts of Christian organizations to prevent the trafficking of children worldwide. She finds effective advocacy occurring across the globe but among Christian organizations that are rarely tied to any specific denominational support. Next, Walker reviews evidence based treatment recommendations for children and adolescents. Trauma-focused CBT is a leading empirically supported treatment for child abuse. Recently, efforts have been made to sensitively integrate faith into TF-CBT. Vieth then discusses effective church responses to allegations of abuse. He suggests suspending the activities of a church worker when allegations are made against him or her in addition to informing the police. Tchivdjian concludes
by discussing the mission and vision of the GRACE foundation—a multidisciplinary Christian nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children from child abuse and treating children who have been abused.

V. I. Vieth, JD, B. J. Tchividjian JD, Dr. D.F. Walker and K. R. Knodel
323 - 335
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