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Dove's Nest Blog

Appropriate Touch Guidelines

Children need love, and the church is a wonderful place to show that love. Adults can appropriately express this through physical touch, such as hugging, a pat on the back, an arm around the shoulder, or holding an infant or toddler. 

Here are some guidelines for appropriate touch that your church might consider using in your child protection policy, nursery guidelines, or in a Sunday school discussion about abuse prevention:

Teens, Sex Trafficking, and What You Need to Know

By Brenda L. Yoder, LMHC

A couple of years ago, I talked with a former victim of sex trafficking at a faith-based conference. She briefly told me her story. She was raised in the church, was in a youth group, and was trafficked by her brother to his friends and others.

Trafficking isn’t something confined to the brothels or slums of southeast Asia. It’s commercial sex with a child, and it’s in high demand in the United States. Victims and consumers are in our neighborhoods. Rural. Urban. Suburban.

What about Sexual Violence by Adolescents? Three Items to Consider

By Trudy Good

Dove’s Nest has heard from churches that are struggling with situations of abuse in which an adolescent is the offender. These situations are terribly painful and complicated, but not terribly uncommon. An estimated 23 percent of reported cases of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by individuals under the age of eighteen. 

Tragic Reminder: Lawsuit Calls Attention to Duty to Protect Children

By Paul Schrag, editor of Mennonite World Review

“Children are the living letters we send into a time we will never see.”

This quote describes an adult’s sacred duty to care for a child. It is cited in Circle of Grace, a sexual-abuse prevention curriculum produced by the Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha, Neb. In 2011 a donor provided funding for a copy of Circle of Grace for every Mennonite Church USA congregation.

10 Social Media Safety Tips

By Brenda Yoder

Your children are the first generation with access to technology that opens doors of unlimited possibilities, but also unlimited dangers. Kids are vulnerable to online predators and harassing behavior from peers and adults. As parents, we have to be diligent about teaching social media safety. How can you keep your kids safe?

1. Don’t allow your children to put their phone numbers or address on a social media profile or “check in” at a location.

2. Teach your children to make wise choices over who “friends” or follows them in social media.

What About the Most Vulnerable?

By Anna Groff

In addition to protecting children, churches ought to be aware of the need for safety for all vulnerable persons, including—but not limited to—children and adults with disabilities and the elderly.

Many studies point to the unfortunate truth that children with chronic medical conditions or disabilities are at increased risk for abuse and neglect.

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