Media has been flooded with incidents of child sex abuse in Church. These evil incidents are usually covered up to protect the image of the Church. But the ones which become public tell the horrifying tales of child abuse in Catholic Church and others. Parents, the community, law enforcing authorities and the Church management have to come together to find ways to prevent child abuse in church.
- The first step is for the Church itself. Instead of covering up the abuse, the Church management should right away inform the police and parents. This way the abuser is caught on time and the child is given the necessary counseling that they need.
- The Church should make use of the online world to inform and provide guidance to the Church clergy and parents.
- Parents need to keep a background check of any Church personnel working closely with their children. They should check their criminal background, references and past work with other Churches before making a decision to leave their kids alone.
- Parents should stay in constant touch with the Church clergy to know about their teens’ activities. Usually young children and teens are victims of child sex abuse.
- If a child comes to their parents complaining about some uncomfortable experience with someone at the Church, parents should take it seriously and explore the matter further.
- Parents should be aware of people who come in contact with their children i.e. the pastor, the Sunday school teacher and church volunteers. Everyone should be within the parents’ radar.
- Parents and the Church need to realize that sexual abuse is a criminal offense and not a sin that can be confessed and forgiven. The offense should be reported to the police immediately, which is everyone’s responsibility.
- In the state of Illinois, multidisciplinary teams or MDTs investigate child abuse. These teams compromise of child protective services, professional counselors, prosecutors and law enforcing authorities. Parents are encouraged to contact such teams or authorities in their states to help their teens
- Last but not the least: parents should foster an air of openness at homes. The communication should be direct and without any hesitation. Also, parents should keep an eyes on adults who are trying to get close to their teens.