With the rise in reporting of sexual abuse of children, the Baptist Standard is stepping away from our normal year-end round-up to publish something different than the ongoing and important news coverage of these tragedies.
In a Dec. 27 special edition on child sexual abuse, we hope to open the door to healing and restoration for victims and survivors and to help individuals, families and churches to become safer for the most vulnerable among us.
We realize sexual abuse is a very sensitive topic. There are those who have been sexually abused who cannot read one more story about this traumatizing experience being inflicted on yet one more child. There are those who mourn the hurt done to their children and being betrayed by people they trusted. There are those who have worked hard to overcome their experience and are ready to move on. There are those who have never told a soul about their terrible secret. There are those fortunate enough not to understand child sexual abuse but who care very much for others and want to know how best to respond.
We hope to speak life to all of you.
In this edition, you will find a series of articles on the prevalence and impacts of child sexual abuse, how to report it and how to care for those who have been abused. You will find survivor stories and stories of warning. You will also find resources for self-care and for improving the safety of your home and ministries.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, healing them and binding their wounds (Psalm 34:18, 147:3). The LORD is so close, in fact, that he took on flesh and lived among us, being sent to “bind up the brokenhearted … proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners … to comfort all who mourn … to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:18).
May it be so.