How Can the Church Minister To Victims of Sexual Abuse?

Love the Victim


Sexual abuse in the church is a serious issue that many churches have to deal with but few are prepared for. What does it look like for a church to minister to a victim and their family? Julie Lowe is a counselor and faculty member for CCEF. She holds an M.A. in counseling from Biblical Theological Seminary, has over fifteen years of counseling experience, and teaches on topics ranging from parenting to abuse. Listen to Julie talk about the complexity of sexual abuse in churches and how a church should come alongside a victim and their family.




A church should not shy away from a child in their church who has been sexually abused. Instead, they should be prepared to take action and love to the victim and their family. 


Did you learn anything about your responsibility as a leader when it comes to preventing sexual abuse from happening in your church or reporting it when it does occur? If so, what did you learn?
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Do you know who to report to if a minor says they’ve been sexually abused? If so, list the people or offices that need to be informed. If not, what can you do to set up a chain of communication at your church? Do you know any lawyers or police officers who can help you develop a plan of action? How can they help?
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Why is it important to report sexual abuse, especially when the victim is a minor? What fears do you have about approaching the authorities in the case of sexual abuse in your church?
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Why is it better to embrace the complexity that comes with sexual abuse rather than seeking quick fixes?
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What does it look like to surround the victim and their family with love and support? What resources does your church have to offer victims and their families?
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What can your church do in the next month to best prepare to minister to victims of sexual abuse? Has your leadership examined the laws in your state that protect victims? What procedures are already in place? What needs to be improved?
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To best minister to a victim of abuse in your church, you should have a plan of action. Make a plan, walk in wisdom, and love the victim. 



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