By Carolyn Holderread Heggen
Here are ten ways that churches can prevent child abuse. This content is extracted from a chapter of Sexual Abuse in Christian Homes and Churches by Carolyn Holderread Heggen (1993). Holderread Heggen, PhD, is a psychotherapist specializing in trauma recovery. Although she spent most of her clinical and academic career in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she currently lives in Corvallis, Oregon, and is an active member of Albany Mennonite Church.
1. Name the sin of abuse: Unnamed abuse cannot be healed or stopped. Adequately named, we can begin to exert dominion over this evil.
2. Dispel the notion that what happens in homes is private and no one else's business: Children need opportunities within the congregation to talk about fears or concerns they have.