It can happen in your congregation, too.
The crisis in the Roman Catholic Church is a stark reminder that people we love and admire may turn out to be sex offenders, capable of causing irreparable damage to young lives. Various studies indicate that a not-insignificant minority of adults (perhaps 3 to 20%) may experience some sexual arousal toward children or teenagers. Most do not act on their attractions, but some do – and they could well be some of the “nicest” people you know.
Despite the media myth that children are abused by strangers, in 90% of child sexual abuse cases, children know their abusers well. They are family members, teachers, scout leaders, athletic coaches, neighbors, babysitters and, as the world now knows, clergy.
Places of worship should be, and usually are, safe havens from the dangers of the world. Still, every congregation must implement policies and practices to reduce the possibility of sexual abuse.
Excerpts from an article by: Debra Haffner