A prevention plan to protect children

Tuesday, April 13, 2021
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

children praying in churchA Christian organization is working with various organizations, including churches, to combat child abuse this National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

During coronavirus lockdowns last year, the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation saw a 50% increase in reports of child sexual abuse material from members of the public – a similar trend that was seen in the rest of the locked-down world.

Evangelical Council on Abuse Prevention (ECAP) spokesman Jeff Dalrymple tells One News Now the sex abuse rate is staggering in America, with one in three girls and one in seven boys being abused by the time they turn 18. Considering the fact that some of those cases happen in churches, Dalrymple's organization aims to help Christian ministries prevent it altogether.

"We've established standards to help churches, Christian schools, and other non-profit organizations that serve kids to put together a prevention plan," Dalrymple details. "As you can imagine, the devastation done when abuse takes place can never be undone. You can't go back and rewind the tape."

Dalrymple

So the ECAP focuses on five categories to keep the abuse from happening in the first place.

"The first is good governance," Dalrymple begins. "It's just a system of checks and balances that are behind that. Second of all is proper policies and procedures, and what should those include we've outlined in our child safety standards. Number three, screening any employee, any volunteer, anyone who's working with minors."

Fourth is training, and fifth is setting child safety standards. While no system is fail-safe, Dalrymple says much must be done to keep sexual abuse from happening to children, especially when those children are entrusted to any organization.

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