Abuse

In 2018, General Synod approved a recommendation to affirm the RCA’s #wearespeaking statement. It also voted:

To encourage that this statement and the subject of harassment, abuse, and sexual violence be used to inform services of worship; to encourage pastors to preach on this topic as well as to care for victims of harassment, abuse, and sexual violence; and to encourage congregations to form study groups to explore and reflect upon this topic. (W 18-1, MGS 2018: 316)

In addition, General Synod adopted two recommendations:

To instruct the GSC to develop and implement a sexual harassment policy and procedures for reporting and responding to incidents; and furthermore ensure that investigations into such allegations will result in protection and non-retaliatory behaviors toward the reporters; and

To enact denomination-wide education and training to include boards, institutions, agencies, commissions, regional synods, classes, consistories, and congregations, reporting back to General Synod 2019 its progress and details of implementation. (W 18-2, MGS 2018: 317)

To urge every classis to have a sexual harassment training in place by General Synod 2019 and to have a plan for sustained accountability through continued education. (W 18-3, MGS 2018: 317)