Hope for POSITIVE CHANGE and SOLUTIONS:
#TimesUp is focused on providing funds to support attorney representation for victims of sexual harassment and sexual abuse. Millions of dollars already pledged. We are moving into a new era in which sexual abuse is not tolerated in our workplaces. Let’s hope that will be a new era for the entire society we collectively refer to as Church.
No more abuse of power by clergy for their self-pleasure and gratification. No withholding resources from victims and survivors. No more promotion of predators.
Years ago, when I accepted a bishop’s invitation to assist in writing a clergy sexual ethics policy, I had no idea it would lead me to make the acquaintance of survivors of clergy sexual abuse all over this country in a wide-range of faith traditions; and yet, it did.
I certainly didn’t know it would lead to meeting predators who were hiding in plain sight in those faith traditions; and yet, it did.
I had no idea these experiences would lead to a request to author the SAFE SANCTUARIES series detailing guidelines, resources and facts to protect our most vulnerable. And yet, it did.
I never expected to vigorously support a hashtag movement. And yet, it’s time. #TimesUp #ChurchTimesUp
Trends aren’t built from one individual’s idea but millions. Are there millions of us who care about this? We will find out.
SOLUTIONS – STEPS
- Regularly scheduled Clergy Ethics classes – annually, at a minimum
- Changes in the ways churches and denominations process complaints of clergy sexual misconduct and abuse
- Changes in the ways churches and denominations process complaints of clergy financial misconduct and abuse
- Open, continuous and comprehensive news coverage of cases of clergy abuse
- Adoption of standards of professionalism for clergy use of any and all social media
- No more secret settlements and non-disclosure agreements in cases
FURTHER RESOURCES: For United Methodist Churches, there is a set of resources available at umsexualethics.org that can be used to guide and prepare your church to eradicate clergy sexual abuse and misconduct. Check it out.
HOPE: The hope we have is that ALL churches will share in the work of supporting victims of clergy abuse by finding a way to financially support the funding of counseling and attorneys fees. Let’s make #ChurchTimesUp as useful to victims and survivors of clergy sexual misconduct as #TimesUp is to victims in secular workplaces.