Safeguarding Children - A Global Response

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Safeguarding Children - A Global Response

As the Pope-mobile trundled through the streets of central London last year, in its wake lay many unanswered questions: did the church know of the abuse of children under its care? Why weren’t the perpetrators brought to justice? Was the church covering-up?

It’s a sad fact that churches globally are not immune to misusing their power and authority against those who are most vulnerable in society, despite their God-given responsibility to take care of widows and children.

Why can’t churches keep children safe?

According to recent research by CEOP4, which was carried out on forty-one British professionals charged for sexually abusing children (twenty-seven of whom were priests):

• 92% said they were aware of their sexual orientation to children before they turned 21

• 37% had already sexually abused a child before they turned 16

Lax recruitment procedures and working practices within churches present excellent opportunities for potential perpetrators to infiltrate. When disclosure of child abuse emerges in Christian circles, sometimes children are still disbelieved or leaders are too distraught to respond appropriately. In a culture of trust, as well as blame and shame, child abuse is perpetuated. Some Christian pastors, who are illequipped to deal with any form of child abuse, may apportion blame to child victims. So somehow the child brought this

Read more about Tearfund's response and what it means to work with Christian partners globally here.  As the Pope-mobile trundled through the streets of central London last year, in its wake lay many unanswered questions: did the church know of the abuse of children under its care? Why weren’t the perpetrators brought to justice? Was the church covering-up?

It’s a sad fact that churches globally are not immune to misusing their power and authority against those who are most vulnerable in society, despite their God-given responsibility to take care of widows and children.

Read more about Tearfund's response and what it means to work with Christian partners globally in the attachment below.

This artilce was published in Caring Mangazine - Spring 2011

Aneeta Kulasegara, Tearfund’s global Child Development Advisor. Her background is in law and social care with 18 years of experience in the field of child rights, development and protection in SE Asia and England.