This is important, especially in today’s world of social media.
(My thanks to Barbara Roberts for her help with this article)
I am sure that you have watched police SWAT teams in action at a hostage situation. As the hostages emerge, a strange thing happens. The police treat them as if they were the bad guys. They have them kneel down, hands in the air, frisk them and handcuff them. Why? Because if the police have never actually seen the suspects, they want to be sure that the bad guys aren’t trying to escape in the disguise of one of the hostages. And that is how we need to handle abuse situations, because it is very, very common for the abuser to claim to be the victim – and his disguise can be pretty ingenious. Many hostages are thrown in “jail” while the bad guys go free when it comes to how our churches are dealing with abuse…
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