Christian Church #ChurchToo Response

ChurchCares.com is a site with free online program – comprised of videos and book – created by Christian ministries to equip every church “to respond well in the initial stages of learning about instances of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse.”

The project is based on a range of contributors, starting with Rachael Denhollander, an attorney, advocate, and educator who became “known internationally as the first woman to file a police report and speak publicly against USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, one of the most prolific sexual abusers in recorded history.” After Denhollander’s first testimony, over 250 other victims of Nassar spoke out, resulting in his life prison term.

Unlike the U.S. Catholic Church, the #ChurchToo movement, springing from the #MeToo movement of 2019, is very broad based in its concerns, including not just child sexual predators but also much focus on domestic violence and other abuse — and all victims of abuse. This resource tries to cover all types of abuse, too.

There is some overlap where Christian denominations are setting up programs and policies already operational in the U.S. Catholic following the Dallas Charter; for example, much is said about cooperating with local authorities beyond the Church.

The strength of this resource may be found in its focus on offering pastoral care to victims of abuse regardless of type of history or background. This is an area still evolving in the Catholic Church. Resources like these can be very helpful.

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