Commonly Asked Questions

Sexual Abuse in Churches raises many questions, contradictions and tensions especially for people impacted or who witness its effects. On the one hand, Churches promote a 'moral' compass for living. Yet, on the other hand, Churches and other faith-settings are known to be high-risk contexts for abuse to occur.

The booklet "Sexual Abuse: A 'How to Help' Guide for Victms, parents of Victims and Congregations", produced by Safe Place Services (and revised May 2012), covers many common questions people have such as:

  • What is sexual abuse?
  • Is child sexual abuse common in Christian communities?
  • Who are the abusers?
  • Why don't children tell about the abuse?
  • What are common 'myths' about victims?

The booklet explores misconceptions around forgiveness and discusses how to cope with some of the common 'fallout' that victims and their friends/family typically experience in a local congregation after a situation of abuse becomes known. Tips for ministers and congregations responding are covered.

Download the booklet (732 KB in PDF format) by clicking here (opens in a new page, or 'right click' and select 'save as' to set destination for download).