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Reflections

Child Abuse Awareness Month/Resources for Churches

Statistics

  • A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds about as long as it takes to blink twice.
  • About 5 children die every day as a result of child abuse.
  • More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way. 
  • The estimated annual cost of child abuse in the United States for 2008 is $124 billion
  • Sexual abuse occurs throughout society; in rural and metro areas and regardless of race, education & socioeconomic status.   

Source: http://www.childhelp-usa.com/pages/statistics
 


Mandatory Reporting in Kentucky 
“All persons” have a duty to report suspicion of abuse.

 Call: 1 877 597 2331


Prevention
  • Educate staff and the congregation.
  • Establish policies collaboratively with church board.
  • Become familiar with state laws on mandatory reporting.
  • Consult an attorney. 
  • Update your insurance policy.
  • Conduct background checks on all who deal with kids.
  • Preach a sermon and/or offer special prayers in April. 
          (Child Abuse Awareness Month).
  • Invite abuse preventionist to address church/board.
  • Train clergy, staff and congregation in boundaries.
  • Believe those who disclose abuse. Look them 
          in the eye and say I’m sorry. What happened was wrong. 
  • Refer rather than counsel victims/families of abuse.
  • Report & refer rather than investigate crimes.


Education 
Child Welfare Information Gateway at https://www.childwelfare.gov/
National Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD


 
Call To Worship 
Leader: God of peace with justice, we come to you with heavy hearts. It’s hard to believe but children are being harmed.

People: But because you bring darkness to light we dare to speak the sin of child abuse in our world, community and even in our churches.
  
Leader: We confess that many children are neglected. They don’t receive love, food, medical care or protection. Others are being hit, hurt and sexually abused.  

All: We want to turn away in horror. We want to stay silent and sweep it under the rug. Who wouldn’t? It’s to shameful to say...it’s bigger then we can bear. 

Leader: God who speaks forgive us for our silence Motivate us to face the facts.. Give us courage to speak the sins and take steps to become a living sanctuary.   

People: Give us knowledge to be proactive rather than reactive. Give us wisdom that informs our ways that we can walk as peace-makers and justice-seekers. 

All: God of mercy forgive us. Fill us with the faith to believe that beyond the violence there is restoration, healing and new life. Because of the Christ who captivated evil also triumphed over death. Amen.  

by Beverly Weinhold 


We Are Majestically Brokenby Andrew J. Schmutzer

Collector-of-Fragments, we are broken now. 
Fragmented are simple expectations.  
Fragmented are life-giving hopes. 
Fragmented are ligaments of faith. 
 
How good are you at:  
 Finding,  
 Cleaning,  
 Mending pieces of lives?

The dismembered, displaced and disoriented need to know. 
Our faith has been reduced to trust... 
     a trust in goodness far beyond our experience 
     a trust in safety far beyond our fears,  
     a trust in healing far beyond our means. 
 
Please mend well what others have shattered 
Please forgive through us where our strength has run out. 
But, in Your mending and healing work, leave some cracks for memorial: 
 
Of where we came from,  
Of how You gathered us,  
Of how You cradle the majestically broken. 

We pray in the name of Your Majestic Broken One,  
Bruised and broken for the broken and bruised,  
Lover of the limping The Finder-of-Fragments,  
Who still weeps more than we do,  
Jesus Christ. 


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