NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 8, 2019—In advance of the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, June 11-12, in Birmingham, Ala., the SBC Sexual Abuse Advisory Group has released a public report on church sexual abuse.
Upon its formation in July 2018 by SBC President J. D. Greear, the Sexual Abuse Advisory Group was tasked with considering how Southern Baptists at every level can take discernible action to respond swiftly and compassionately to incidents of abuse, as well as foster safe environments within churches and institutions. This report flows from that assignment and aims to convey the key findings that have emerged over the last year.
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC, commented on the report:
“I’m not sure that I have ever seen a group in all my years in Baptist life conduct work as thoroughly and with as much excellence as has the Sexual Abuse Advisory Group over the last year. This report reflects the fruit of hundreds of interviews with survivors, experts in law enforcement, counseling, trauma, security and many others. It is a starting point, not the final word from this group or on this issue—but a significant document nonetheless. I hope all Southern Baptists will take the time to read it as we unite and commit to root out this wickedness from our midst and care for those who have experienced this horror.”
The report is intentionally designed to educate churches on the sexual abuse crisis, equip churches on how to care well for survivors and prepare churches to prevent abuse. The report is available in full online here. Additionally, a summary article with key takeaways from the report is available here.
This report will also be featured when the SBC Sexual Abuse Advisory Group delivers a presentation at the SBC annual meeting, presently scheduled for 2:45 p.m. CT on Wednesday, June 12.
Earlier this week, the ERLC, along with the Sexual Abuse Advisory Group, announced the launch of the “Caring Well Challenge,” a unified call to action designed to confront church sexual abuse. The challenge is meant to provide churches with a clear pathway to immediately enhance their efforts to prevent abuse and care for abuse survivors. All Southern Baptist churches are invited to join as an important first step in addressing the issue of church sexual abuse. Resources for the initiative are available at caringwell.com.