As we gather together to celebrate Christmas and the holidays, we are mindful that for many of you, this is really a busy time of year. Whether you visit shut-ins, serve meals, hold special services, dress up as Santa and give gifts, you are spreading joy. Your generosity and warmth will be felt by many. Thank you for the investment you make in sharing Christmas joy, love, and hope with others.
At Plan to Protect ®, we want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! We hope you have a very joyful holiday. We are so grateful for your partnership and business!
Speaking of which, many of you have partnered with us because of our commitment to help you reduce risk in your organizations and communities. Therefore, we want to remind you that the holidays are not cheerful for everyone. Families struggling to feed themselves today will likely struggle at Christmas. A child fearful of a parent or family member will probably still fear them during the special days of the year. Possibly even more so. Often more alcohol than usual is flowing, which can intensify abuse, anger, and harm.
A conversation at a kitchen table:
Son: Mom, I don't want to play hockey anymore!
Dad: What are you talking about? You love hockey!
Son: I don't want to play anymore; it's no longer fun!
Mom: Of course, you have fun!
Son: I don't want to go to any more tournaments!
Dad: You can't let your team down!
Son: I'm done!
Mom: Do you know how much money we have invested in your hockey! You can't quit now. You are headed to professionals.
Son: I don't like the coach!
Dad: Don't talk about your coach like that! Do you know how much that man has done for you boys! You are one of his favourite players! You be thankful – and show him your gratitude!
Can you not hear this conversation happening at dinner tables across North America! Certainly, as it relates to hockey, in hundreds of Canadian homes.
“My middle school teacher molested me.
How is it possible for those words to be written? One would think that a school teacher, trained to educate and care for children, would be the last person able to harm a child. Het, this man sexually abused me for years, and not a single adult came to my rescue.
Mr. Baker was a well-respected married man whom students loved, parents trusted, and the school awarded. He spent two years grooming me – building up my trust, spending time listening to my problems, and showering me with much-needed attention I hadn’t received at home. Mr. Baker was completely above suspicion that he would be capable of sexually abusing someone.
Over the course of the next few weeks I am going to be highlighting some great books targeting different segments of our society where abuse is present, and unfortunately too rampant.
According to Mary DeMuth, “Predators permeate every strata of society. My first abusers were Boy Scouts. This man? A doctor. They infiltrate trustworthy structures like organizations, sports, and, yes, even the church.”
If it is true that the sexual abuse crisis has permeated every corner of our world, including the church, we need a strategy to combat each strata.
How we respond to both its menacing proliferation and the shattered hearts of survivors is vital. God beckons us to be good Samaritans to those facing trauma and sexual brokenness in the aftermath of abuse, to provide safe places to heal in community.
In the pages of her newest book, We Too, author and advocate Mary DeMuth encourages the church she loves to rise up and face the very real evil of sexual abuse and harassment--with candor and empathy. Based on current research and survivors' stories, along with a fierce fidelity to Scripture, DeMuth paints a realistic picture of the church's historical and present response to sexual violence, and she provides a framework of revival and surprising hope for the future.
There is plenty of talk about the risk of getting vehicular heatstroke, particularly during the months of July and August. While the vast majority know not to leave children, vulnerable adults or pets unattended in the car, history tells us that it can and does happen – and knowing may not have anything to do with it.
This week, we...
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of high risk is: likely to result in failure, harm or injury or more likely than others.
When assessing the risk level of an activity, assess the severity of the harm, injury or abuse: whether it is trivial (little to no effect), minor (requiring first aid), moderate (sprains,...
When I was a young boy, I loved September. And it wasn’t because the leaves were changing colour or because of the crisp smells in the air. It was because the first Monday of October was near, and the first Monday of October was the opening of bird hunting season in Nova Scotia.
On that day, I knew my dad and I would take off from school...
What is on your mind these days?
I have just returned from a tremendous two-week vacation in Europe visiting my daughter and son-in-law. We visited France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Portugal. We were at Notre Dame taking pictures just hours before the fire broke out. We watched candles being lit, quietly marveling at the beauty of the...
For the past six summers, I have been the Sports Camp Coordinator for a week-long day camp. Each year, we have approximately 60 campers ages 7 to 12 years old participating in various sports, including soccer, ball hockey, basketball, volleyball, as well as many large group games – all on varying terrain. With the heightened...