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October 4, 2019

Religious Liberty victories in Alaska and Iowa | Susan Codone 10 things churches need to know and do in response to sexual abuse

Public theologian, Matthew Hawkins (@MTHawk) on:

  • Resolution in religious liberty case involving the University of Iowa and InterVarsity in favor of the ministry’s freedom to have leadership reflect their faith.
  • A women’s shelter in Anchorage Alaska is breathing a sigh of relief after efforts to prosecute them for failing to house a biological man overnight in a facility designed to serve abused women have been dropped.

Mercer University professor, Susan Codone, who courageously shared her testimony of sexual abuse by her youth pastor and senior pastor when a teenager in Alabama, wants churches to know and do 10 things.

  1. Acknowledge there are many people in our churches who have experienced sexual abuse.
  2. What might look like spiritual apathy may well be spiritual disconnected resulting from trauma.
  3. Make mental health a priority on par with physical health.
  4. Enact safe guards (Caring Well curriculum)
  5. Use the right words.
  6. Take responsibility.
  7. Report abusers not matter what and remove their enablers.
  8. Change the culture regarding mental health (depression, PTSD, suicidal ideation and attempts are all part of this conversation)
  9. Listen. And be willing to talk, publicly.
  10. Do not be afraid of us. Do not be afraid of those who have experienced sexual trauma, we are your sisters and daughters and wives and grand-daughters and nieces and moms.

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