Child Abuse and the Church: A Call for Prevention, Treatment, and Training

By Vieth, Victor I.; Tchividjia, Basyle J. et al. | Journal of Psychology and Theology, Winter 2012 | Go to article overview

Child Abuse and the Church: A Call for Prevention, Treatment, and Training


Vieth, Victor I., Tchividjia, Basyle J., Walker, Donald F., Knodel, Katlin R., Journal of Psychology and Theology


Child abuse is both a sin and a crime. In this article, we present a call to the global Christian church to prevent and treat child abuse, and to train professionals across disciplines to do so. Vieth discusses effective child protection policies in churches. Among other recommendations, he encourages consultation with child protection experts, thorough screening of child workers, and accountable supervision of children in church. Tchvidjian examines cultural aspects of missions organizations that contribute to the abuse of children in the mission field. He suggests that missions organizations who have failed to protect abused children in the past placed their reputation above child protection, failed to treasure children, and believed in God-sanctioned power and control of missions workers. Knodel reviews the efforts of Christian organizations to prevent the trafficking of children worldwide. She finds effective advocacy occurring across the globe but among Christian organizations that are rarely tied to any specific denominational support. Next, Walker reviews evidence-based treatment recommendations for children and adolescents. Trauma-focused CBT is a leading empirically supported treatment for child abuse. Recently, efforts have been made to sensitively integrate faith into TF-CBT. Vieth then discusses effective church responses to allegations of abuse. He suggests suspending the activities of a church worker when allegations are made against him or her in addition to informing the police. Tchivdjian coneludes by discussing the mission and vision of the GRACE foundation--a multidisciplinary Christian nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children from child abuse and treating children who have been abused.

"... deliver us from evil" (Matt. 6:13)

In this article, we present a call to the local and global church to prevent, respond to, and train others to comprehensively address child abuse. In making this call, we review child abuse prevention policies for churches and faith based organizations. We then discuss institutional factors involved in child abuse prevention globally among missionary organizations, and highlight efforts to prevent child trafficking among international Christian organizations. Afterward, we review spiritual issues that arise for children who have been abused, and discuss spiritually integrative treatment options for children. Next, we suggest ways in which churches can respond pastorally to disclosures of abuse by children. We conclude by discussing the work of the Godly Response to Abuse Within a Christian Environment (GRACE) organization, a multi-disciplinary, faith-based organization dedicated to training professionals across disciplines to prevent and treat child abuse in churches and Christian faith-based communities.

Preventing Child Abuse Within the Local Church Although churches are increasingly implementing policies to protect children from abuse, the policies adopted are often inadequate and of limited value. In order to make the policies as effective as possible, I (Vieth) have proposed the following six guidelines (sec Vieth, 2011, for a review).

Consult With at Least One Child Abuse Expert in Developing Child Protection Policies

Church leaders need to realize that few insurance companies have a vested interest in investigating, prosecuting, or otherwise treating sex offenders. The primary interests of insurance companies are in limiting liability. As a result, we encourage faith leaders to consult with their insurance providers without limiting the development of their child protection policies to the recommendations made by their insurance companies. In addition, we urge church leaders to contact law enforcement, prosecutor offices, and sex offender treatment providers and ask these true experts to assist in developing policies on child abuse. Making these contacts in advance will also assist the church or other faith institution in working with these very departments if and when a case of child abuse arises within a congregation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Child Abuse and the Church: A Call for Prevention, Treatment, and Training
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.