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Abuse Prevention’s mission is threefold: to create awareness of various forms of abuse against persons of all ages, to help churches reduce the risk of an incident of abuse, and to promote healing through a just and effective response when abuse is disclosed.

To support this mission, Abuse Prevention offers education, training, resources, policies and protocols, and consultation services to Christian Reformed churches. In addition, Abuse Prevention trains the classis Safe Church Team to assist churches with abuse-related issues.

What’s New

A new name! “Safe Church Team” is the new name for the classis abuse response team. The name change reflects Abuse Prevention’s goal that the team help build and sustain healthy churches through education and support services and assist churches to respond when allegations of abuse arise against a church leader.

In February, Abuse Prevention sponsored child safety training sessions. The positive response resulted in an overflow training held three weeks later. In all, 108 people representing 45 congregations attended both events; about one-half of the congregations were non-CRC.

New resources are coming. A manual on healthy sexuality for teens will be available through Faith Alive Christian Resources. The manual reminds teens that sexuality is enjoyed as part of God’s plan for community and intimacy.

Preventing Child Abuse: a Guide for Churches will be revised. The new edition will feature new policies on transportation, hall monitors, and overnight trips; information on bullying and harassment; and updates on volunteer screening and responding to incidents of abuse.

For more information about Abuse Prevention services and the Safe Church Team visit our website at

Beth A. Swagman, director

Quick Facts

  • 346 churches report implementing a child safety policy
  • 108 people representing 45 congregations attended child safety training

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