Monday, July 9, 2012

What Real Change Looks Like ~ Part 2

This is a continuation of a post that can be found here. I would like to again make a disclaimer that this is in no way meant to be an exhaustive list of things that can and should be done.

Something I really think needs to be understood and acknowledged is that many times the person who enables the abuse is just as bad as the abuser. This enabling can be done in many different ways. The enabler can allow a known abuser around their own children. The enabler can knowingly allow an abuser to be in a position within an organization that lends itself to trust (such as a visible position at church) and thereby potentially endangering more children. When it is a parent or another authority figure that is the enabler it puts the child in a situation to feel like there is no where to turn. My caution is to be careful with allowing known abusers to have any sort of position of trust (even just being an usher at church) especially around children! I think that those who have enabled known abusers also owe victims that have been harmed because of their enabling an apology, and really even those who were potentially put in harms way as well.

One thing that I believe is ESSENTIAL for change is to change one's mindset. In order to do this you have to begin to see things differently. I believe that churches and other Christian organizations that have been impacted by abuse NEED a 3rd party to come in and evaluate. Bringing an organization such as G.R.A.C.E. will help any ministry see where things have gone bad, and how the situation can be rectified. I also believe that they can help to give a godly perspective that may differ from how things are currently viewed. If someone from the "outside" is not brought in nothing will change. Without a proper understanding of what abuse is, that it is NOT the fault of the victim, and without a true understanding of various aspects of abuse there will not be change either.

While I know that there are many other areas that I could touch on, and that I only hit basics this is where I choose to stop for now. Change is NECESSARY! My prayer is that churches, schools, parents, and anyone with access to children will come to understand the dynamics of abuse, and see the need to change to help prevent it. I believe that part of prevention is in understanding how abuse happens, and even some of how predators pick victims. We ALL have a responsibility to do our best to protect the next generation of children from the horrifying effects of abuse.

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