Recommended Resources Related to Sexual Harassment and Abuse

The following resources have been compiled in an attempt to support survivors of sexual abuse, help congregations take preventative measures against sexual abuse and harassment in their own church, and provide tools for raising awareness.

For a list of policy actions taken over time within the church in opposition to the pervasive issue of coercive sexism, it may be helpful to first read Resisting Harassment in the Church, an article by ACSWP Coordinator and Unbound Editor Chris Iosso.

Healing, Recovery & Rebuilding Trust

JUSTBEinc: me too. Founded by Tarana Burke, JUSTBEinc’s “me too movement” started originally as a network of solidarity and support for survivors, 10 years before #MeToo became a social media public witness phenomenon.
Take and Make Holy — Honoring the Sacred in the Healing Journey of Abuse Survivors. By Marie West Zinnerman. Liturgy Training Publications, Chicago, IL 1995.
Forgiveness and Abuse: Jewish and Christian Reflections. Edited by Marie Fortune and Joretta Marshall. The Haworth Press, Inc. 2002 (pp. 71-85).
FutureChurch — A Liturgy of Lament for the Broken Body of Christ. This liturgy was developed in response to a survivor of clergy sexual abuse who asked FutureChurch to sponsor a healing service for victims. The liturgy was used in a service that was held in Cleveland on October 14, 2002, and involved 22 co-participants from northeastern Ohio. The liturgy includes music and prayer written by a Cleveland survivor of sexual abuse who is also a musician. The complete liturgy is provided in PDF format for download. It includes a detailed planning guide, diagrams of stations that were set up in the worship space, a participants’ booklet, the message that was preached and original music composed specifically for this service.


Creating Safe Ministries

Creating Safe Ministries (Presbyterian Mission Agency)
PC(USA) Abuse Prevention Hotline: (866)-607-7233.  In addition to the hotline, this page provides legal resources outlined here to help ensure your congregation is safe.
Preventing Child Sexual Abuse within Youth-serving Organizations: Getting Started on Policies and Procedures The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed this free resource to assist youth-serving organizations as they begin to adopt prevention strategies for child sexual abuse.
We Won’t Let It Happen Here: Creating a Safe Church. Created by the Presbyterian Child Advocacy Network, a network of the Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association (PHEWA). Download here
Surely Heed their Cry. A Presbyterian guide to child abuse prevention and healing. This comprehensive guide contains information on abuse identification, abuse prevention, and educational material.
Preventing Sexual Abuse in Congregations. By Karen A. McClintock. The Alban Institute, Herndon, Va., 2004.
Safe Sanctuaries for Youth – Reducing the Risk of Abuse in Youth Ministries. By Joy Thornburg Melton, Discipleship Resources, Nashville, Tenn. Available from Cokesbury.


Raising Awareness

Is Nothing Sacred? A timely case study, designed for congregations for preventing and finding effective solutions for sexual abuse against congregants by clergy, by the Rev. Marie M. Fortune (Cleveland: The United Church Press, 1999).
A Sacred Trust: Boundary Issues for Clergy and Spiritual Teachers. A program of four training videos that increase awareness of the need for healthy boundaries in the clergy-congregant or student-teacher relationship. Available through the Faith Trust Institute.
Annotated Bibliography of Clergy Sexual Abuse. The phenomenon of sexual abuse as committed by persons in fiduciary relationships is widespread among helping professions. Those who perpetrate these violations are not confined to any nation. This bibliography is oriented to several specific contexts in which this phenomenon occurs. By James S. Evinger. Available through the Faith Trust Institute.