1. Why do some of us find it so difficult to talk about sexual abuse? What is it about sexual abuse and allegations of misconduct that makes them so hurtful? Is sexual misconduct an open subject in your congregation? How important is listening in the healing process?
2. What steps has your church taken to protect children, youth and other vulnerable people? Do you have a safe church policy? How effective is it? How rigorous are you in applying it to volunteers who work with children and teens?
3. If allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced, what are the first steps that your church would take? Does your church have access to resources such as the Sexual Misconduct and Abuse Response Resource Team (SMARRT) of MCC Ontario (www.mcco.ca/restorative/smart)? What are the challenges of dealing with such allegations? What role should the news media (including this magazine) play in covering allegations of sexual misconduct?
4. If sexual abuse is a by-product of unhealthy sexuality, how can we work at improving healthy sexuality? How can we work at breaking the cycle of abuse? Why is it important to talk about these issues, even if they make us uncomfortable?
--Posted June 18, 2014