Steps you can take to end harassment, abuse, and sexual violence
Signing the We Are Speaking statement is only the beginning. If you are committed to putting the words of this statement into action in tangible ways, consider the following action steps and follow-up opportunities.
- Check out Safe Church resources from the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Safe Church brings awareness to abuse in many different forms and offers resources for training leaders and creating policies that help protect every person within our ministries.
- Visit the resource page we've put together to help congregations support people who have experienced abuse, harassment, and sexual violence.
- Clearly communicate your ministry’s stance against abuse of any kind. If you do not have a written statement about abuse, create one and post it publicly. What is your godly response to what is happening in our communities? Declare it boldly! Safe Church is an excellent place to start when putting together your statement.
- Create a strong referral and educational process. Connect with trusted organizations in your area that provide support, resources, and hope to victims and their allies. If you’d like assistance in this process, contact Eliza Cortés Bast, coordinator for Local Missional Engagement, at email@example.com.
- Connect with the Women’s Transformation and Leadership (WTL) initiative, which has been working to shift the culture of the denomination by seeking to fully include the gifts and influence of women. Honoring our Stories, a process for unlocking the transformative power of our stories, provides a framework for working through our joys and laments, including those painful experiences of harassment, abuse, and sexual violence. WTL is also working on a process to help ministries build flourishing, healthy ministry partnerships between women and men. To learn more, visit www.rca.org/women or contact Reverend Liz Testa, coordinator for Women’s Transformation and Leadership, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Read the issue of Mutuality Magazine focused on #metoo and #churchtoo. This ecumenical magazine, put together by CBE International, features articles about women and men leading and serving together in ministry. The June 2018 theme was how churches and Christians should respond to #metoo and #churchtoo.
We acknowledge that these steps are only the beginning. We are compelled by God’s original vision for humanity to take action. We are investing ourselves in the Holy Spirit’s movement to bring about healing and restoration until every person is valued and treated as one who is made in the image of God.