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How to Respond to a Report of Abuse

By Brad Hambrick

Knowledge does not make hard things easy. But knowledge can make confusing things clearer. If you have been involved in abusive relationships, whether that be personally or ministerially, you know that nothing with abuse is easy. That is why we created Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused.  Our goal is to make your role as a pastor or ministry leader clearer.

While this is an education curriculum, it should be made clear: education is not the answer, because ignorance is not the problem. Churches don’t mishandle abuse because of a lack of knowledge. If it were our child who was being abused, we would figure out what to do. To blame ignorance is to fail to own our role as leaders.

The sad reality, however, is that most pastors have had little, if any, training on pastoral care for abuse. A lack of training can result in ministry leaders being tentative and passive when we need to be active and protecting. We want to equip ministry leaders to respond with excellence when they learn of abuse.

This free training curriculum of a handbook, an introductory video, and 12 lesson videos brings together brings together leading evangelical trauma counselors, victim advocates, social workers, attorneys, batterer interventionists, and survivors to equip pastors and ministry leaders for the appropriate initial responses to a variety of abuse scenarios in churches, schools, or ministries.

After completing this training you should be able to say, “I know what I should do when there is a report of abuse in my ministry, why I should do it, and how to do it.” From there it is your responsibility as both a citizen and Christian to have the integrity and courage to take action as one of God’s agents of protection for those being harmed or oppressed by various forms of abuse.

Start this free training today and equip your volunteers and ministry leaders at ChurchCares.com.

*Please note the curriculum is not intended to be legal counsel or to provide holistic training for counseling or pastoral care on the issue of abuse but is an accessible tutorial on how to respond with pastoral and ethical excellence. The curriculum gives a theological foundation for the topic, brings understanding on the issues connected to abuse disclosure and reporting, and gives practical wisdom by which leaders can navigate complex situations.


Brad Hambrick

Brad serves as the Pastor of Counseling at The Summit Church in Durham, NC.


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