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.
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...
I was recently interviewed by Faith Today magazine and they asked, “how many organizations and churches have a plan to protect?”
My hope is that every organization and church that serves the vulnerable sector, would have some sort of a plan to protect but not all plans are the same, nor do they all adhere to the same standard.
As we review and customize hundreds of policies and procedure manuals a year, we see such a wide variety of policies including:
Jun19TueJune 19, 2018
Who do you reach out to when you need care and support?
Last week I was interviewed by a young journalist from Huffington Post and asked why victims of child abuse reached out to clergy to disclose their abuse. The interviewer was writing in response to recent disclosures of abuse: #MeTOO and #ChurchTOO.
As I responded to the questions, I thought of many individual cases of abuse where each individual disclosed their abuse to someone they trusted. Some of the names have been changed to protect the victims.
Mar27TueMarch 27, 2018
Feb28WedFebruary 28, 2018