The Southern Baptist Convention has announced 10 reforms it will implement in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal in which more than 700 people say they were victimized over the past two decades by an estimated 380 Baptist church leaders.
“Churches who confront this issue now are learning that this is a new day that requires a new way of thinking about abuse within faith communities,” said Dallas lawyer Brad Nitschke of Jackson Walker LLP who advises large organizations on how to prevent such crises and what to do about them.
“Those who are leading the way in this area are those who are being proactive and asking themselves, ‘What are we doing to safeguard the children in our care right now, is it working, and would we know if it wasn’t?’
“The current attention on safeguarding issues gives churches and others a chance to take a fresh look at not only how they work to prevent abuse, but also how they train ministers, lay staff, and parishioners to spot and report potential misconduct. For some, this may be the time for an overall checkup across their education and safeguarding processes,” Mr. Nitschke said.
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